Calling all Connecticut businesses – please sign onto the letter below, which will be presented to the Governor and the CT General Assembly.  **Note: Signing on to this letter does not require immediate action to implement your own system of paid leave. By indicating your support, you are standing in solidarity with other businesses across the state advocating for the passage of SB 221: An Act Concerning Paid Family and Medical Leave.

Governor Malloy and the Connecticut Legislature: Pass Paid Leave in 2016.

As the 2016 Connecticut legislative session progresses, businesses owners and employers across the state continue to share an aligned vision: it’s time for paid family and medical leave. In order to remain economically competitive, Connecticut must implement policies that will attract and retain a skilled workforce. Paid family leave will not only draw workers and businesses into the state, but will also create an environment that values and supports the next generation of Connecticut employees.

We represent businesses – small and large – across the state and we stand in support of the creation of a comprehensive, statewide system of paid family and medical leave. Paid family leave is one of the most important economic issues for families here in Connecticut. Over half of Connecticut residents age 40 and older say they have provided care – either currently or in the past – on an unpaid basis to an ill, elderly or disabled loved one. The need for paid leave is also growing among younger workers: nearly 40% of millennials say they would move to another country for better parental benefits.

When employees know they have the ability to take time off from work to welcome a new baby, tend to an ill relative or recover from a personal health issue, they experience greater job satisfaction and, in turn, are more productive employees. Paid family and medical leave has also been shown to boost productivity, lower turnover and enhance employee morale – three critical factors in determining a business’ success.

The current absence of paid leave is unsustainable for workers and employers alike: we recognize that the time is now to begin building an environment that values and supports hard working families.

Connecticut now has an opportunity to lead the nation on this critical issue. Just three other states – California, New Jersey and Rhode Island – have successfully implemented paid family leave and are experiencing its positive impacts. Our neighbors, New York and Massachusetts, are just two of several other states moving in the same direction. As one of the first to pass an unpaid Family and Medical Leave Act in the early 1990s, Connecticut should continue to lead the nation by becoming the next state to create a system of paid family and medical leave. As we continue to search for solutions to reenergize Connecticut’s economy, attract innovative businesses and retain a young and talented workforce, paid family leave is a necessity.

When family or personal emergency strikes, we do our best to take care of our employees simply because it is the right thing to do. Providing paid family and medical leave is a start to lessening the burden on employers to accommodate such life-altering circumstances and allows employees to tend to their personal or family responsibilities independently.

A business climate supportive of young families is critical in driving the state’s economy – we, and the workers that keep us going, should not have to endure another year without paid family and medical leave.