The United States remains the only Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) country without a national paid leave policy. Congress passed the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in 1993, which offers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for qualified employees. But, even those who qualify often can’t afford to use it, including 66% of Louisianans.

Most working people in the United States do not have paid family and medical leave (PFML) through their jobs, including about 74% — about 1.5 million workers — in Louisiana. This forces those who can least afford it to choose between economic security and their own health or the health of those they love.