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Madison, WI – The Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health (WAWH) applauds Dane County Executive Joe Parisi for implementing a new paid parental leave policy that will provide county employees with 10 weeks of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a new child.

“County Executive Parisi’s leadership on this issue demonstrates how local elected officials can take proactive steps to improve the lives of their employees and set a positive example for other elected officials and employers to improve the health and economic security of working families,” said Sara Finger, WAWH Executive Director. “This type of leadership from forward-thinking local officials is particularly important in what has become an incredibly challenging and hostile policy environment for issues affecting women’s economic security and health at the state and federal levels.”

The United States is the only industrialized country in the world that doesn’t provide workers with any type of guaranteed paid leave. Nationally, only 12% of workers have paid family leave through their employers. As a result, many workers who take time off to take care for a new child often face a significant loss of income and possibly even risk losing their jobs. Dane County’s new paid parental leave program will go a long ways towards addressing this important issue for Dane County employees.

“Access to paid parental leave is an extremely important issue for working women and has a direct impact on their families’ physical and financial health,” adds Finger. “The burden of our nation’s and state’s inadequate paid family leave policies falls disproportionately on women, who make up nearly half of the workforce but are still far more likely than men to care for new children, even in relationships where both partners work. The Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health would like to express our sincere gratitude to County Executive Parisi for prioritizing this important issue for working families.”

For more information and statistics regarding why paid family leave is important to all workers, and women workers in particular, see page 9 of the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health Proactive Policy Prescription to Improve the Health and Well Being of Women and Girls in Wisconsin.

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