Paid Parental Leave Ordinance Passes in Milwaukee County

Christina Thor, 9to5 WI State Director

On Tuesday, April 12, Milwaukee County passed its paid parental leave ordinance which grants 8 weeks of paid leave for working parents. 9to5 Wisconsin State Director Christina Thor, along with County officials and supervisors, spoke about the urgent need of family sustainability policies and its importance for bridging the gender gap in the workplace.

Christina Thor, 9to5 Wisconsin State Director’s remarks:

“It’s time we erase workplace taboos. It should not be a crime to be pregnant at work or to start a family and to be asking for time off to focus on care.

9to5 is a strong supporter of normalizing paid leave because it bridges the gender gap. Working mothers are often juggling multiple jobs, one at work and one at home. Many do not and cannot return to the workforce or sometimes decide to take on reduced roles. When women are forced to choose between family and work, our economy suffers both statewide and nationally. We live in an economy where, for millions, working full-time isn’t enough to pay the rent, bond with their newborn, focus on self-care and mental health, and put food on the table. 

We live in a patriarchy. The same world that systematically favors men, is also trapping them in a cycle where women cannot contribute equally due to equitable policies. For over 2 years, we witnessed the fast reactions of businesses pivoting their workplace policies during unprecedented times to sustain themselves. The social and economic consequences of the pandemic demonstrate why family sustainability policies, such as paid leave, must be a demand. 

This is an urgent wake up call for businesses and other employers in Milwaukee and Wisconsin to follow. Paid leave is a win for everyone. We need more employers to set up systems that support people. Afterall, people make up 100% of our workforce. Let’s work together to build a culture that encourages and values employees as caretakers and as dignified people. Paid leave policies increase employee retention, attract and retain talent, increase productivity and boost employee morale, support the mental health and well-being of parents, and provide an opportunity for private and public investment.”

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