May 18, 2023

Chairwoman Carpenter and Members of the House Committee on Labor and Industrial

We write to express our strong support for HB 596, which would provide eligible employees in
Louisiana with paid family and medical leave. This important legislation ensures that people who need time away from work to bond with a new child, recover from a serious health condition, care for a seriously ill loved one, address needs arising from domestic violence, or address the impact of military deployment can take the time they need without the fear of financial instability. We applaud Representative Freeman for championing this important issue.

The United States is one of the only developed nations that does not provide universal paid
family leave. Some workers in Louisiana have access to unpaid leave under the federal Family
and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), but the FMLA falls far short of covering all employees.
Currently, of working adults in Louisiana, only about 53% are eligible for FMLA-leave, and
only 38% are eligible and can afford 6 weeks of unpaid leave.1 Paid leave is crucial to ensure
that workers who need to take leave can afford to do so without sacrificing their paycheck or