CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Paid Leave for All, a national campaign of organizations hoping to establish paid family and medical leave across the country, is travelling state-to-state, stopped in West Virginia Friday afternoon.
Travelling by bus, the group is making 14 stops and visiting 10 states. Dawn Huckelbridge, director of Paid Leave for All, says the pandemic has made the need for paid leave greater than ever.
“4 in 5 workers right now do not have paid family leave for their jobs,” she said. “This has been a crisis in the making, but we have an opportunity to do something about it now and we think the time is now to do it.”
Politicians and supporters lined up outside of the West Virginia State Capitol, raising support for a national bill that would establish paid leave for all workers.
Opponents of the bill worry about the cost and say it puts the burden on small businesses.
But supporters, like West Virginia State Senator Richard Lindsay (D) Kanawha, say paid leave could help families provide for their own.
“Paid leave is a reasonable, rational program that addresses the reality today so that everyone that works can take care of their own,” Lindsay said.
Huckelbridge hopes speaking to lawmakers around the country will convince them that paid leave would lessen the burden on working families.
“No one should have to choose between a paycheck and their family, or their health and their work,” she said. “We think the time to change that is now.”