Equal rights to parental leave: A strong start for all children

Legal Aid at Work attorney Julia Parish speaking on Paid Family Leave while holding her child at the podium

Parental leave is associated with health benefits that last a lifetime. But not all California workers can be sure they’ll keep their job if they take parental leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted or new foster child.

Join us at the California State Capitol, in the Eureka room, on Monday, August 28, from 4:45 p.m. to 7 p.m., for a clip from “The Raising of America,” the documentary series on early childhood, and a forum on parental leave, including a hosted reception.

Speakers include:

  • Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara);
  • Clarissa Doutherd, executive director of Parent Voices Oakland;
  • Dr. Anthony Iton, senior vice president of the California Endowment;
  • Hilary Dessouky, general counsel at Patagonia;
  • Jennifer Siebel Newsom, founder and CEO of The Representation Project, and Second Lady of California; and
  • Moderator Camille Maben, executive director of First 5 California.

Even in California, more than 40 percent of workers — those whose employers have fewer than 50 employees within 75 miles — can be fired for taking even one day of parental leave, whether they qualify for the state’s paid leave program or not.

That’s astounding, considering that parental leave is associated with:

  • at least a 9 percent reduction in infant mortality
  • lower levels of family stress and depression
  • greater labor force participation for parents who take leave
  • higher wages for children when they grow up
  • greater lifetime earnings and retirement savings for parents, particularly single moms.

As California legislators debate a historic expansion of parental leave, please join us for a critical discussion on how job-protected parental leave is an imperative for our working society.

Here’s a trailer for “The Raising of America.”

Our event is free, but space is limited. So please RSVP to our Eventbrite here or at the link above. Our cohosts are:

  • California Endowment; 
  • California Newsreel;
  • California Work and Family Coalition;
  • Common Sense Kids Action;
  • First 5 California;
  • Healthy Communities Together;
  • Healthy Mothers Workplace Coalition.

Our cosponsors are:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics – California;
  • Bay Area Health Inequities Initiative;
  • California Breastfeeding Coalition;
  • California Child Care Resource and Referral Network;
  • California Commission on the Status of Women;
  • California Employment Lawyers Association;
  • Child Care Law Center;
  • Children Now;
  • CLASP;
  • Courage Campaign; 
  • Equal Rights Advocates;
  • Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Action;
  • NARAL Pro-Choice California;
  • Rise Together;
  • San Francisco Department on the Status of Women;
  • Silicon Valley Community Foundation;
  • Small Business Majority;
  • Start with LUCY;
  • Walter and Elise Haas Fund; and
  • YWCA of San Francisco and Marin.
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