ATLANTA — Without Congressional intervention, emergency paid leave protections for workers provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act are set to expire December 31, 2020. Leng Leng Chancey, the executive director of 9to5, National Association of Working Women, issued the following statement:
“As Congressional leaders continue negotiations on the latest version of the COVID-19 relief package, the lives and livelihoods of working people — especially women and people of color — hang in the balance. We demand that COVID relief include provisions to extend emergency paid leave protections. Ensuring workers have access to paid leave is absolutely essential to protecting public health, especially as we head into possibly the deadliest peak of the pandemic during the winter months.
“Paid leave is one of the most cost-effective and impactful tools for slowing the spread of the virus and well as for protecting the economic security of families and communities. Paid leave is also necessary to preserve jobs and to keep women and caregivers employed. Women, and especially women of color, have already been forced to leave the workforce at alarming rates over the course of the pandemic so far. More women and working parents will likely be forced out of the workforce if rising infection rates require more schools and child care centers to close.
“Elected officials must act now to ensure emergency paid leave and other protections for workers are not allowed to run out, especially in a moment when working families and communities are most in need.”