Letter: Making the case for paid family and medical leave

The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the newspaper by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press. To submit a letter, send it to or Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.

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To the editor:

The case for paid family and medical leave:

The case for businesses. Paid Family and Medical Leave can provide a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining qualified, motivated workers. Workers can do a better job when they know they are supported. Other countries have done this, and I think we can too.

The case for adult workers. Only 13% of private sector workers have paid family leave. More than 64% of mothers are either primary or co-breadwinners.

One in four mothers in the United States goes back to work within two weeks of giving birth, which is not adequate time to recuperate physically from giving birth. It also doesn’t provide enough time to make a healthy attachment to a newborn or new child that comes into a family.


One in three people, men and women, in the United States have taken leave to support a family member’s health needs. They find themselves needing to care for ill children, ill spouses, or aging parents. And heaven forbid they get sick themselves. These difficult decisions of caring for loved ones can cause stress, debt, and financial hardship.

In rural areas, needs are higher and access to paid family leave is lower.

What you can do to help. Support families and the important role they play in our society — including the important role they play in our economy. Let’s let our legislators know we want to support families!

Nancy Jost
Director of West Central Initiative Early Childhood, serving 10 counties, including Douglas
Fergus Falls, MN

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