WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last night, news outlets reported that Congress removed a federal paid leave program from their massive $3.5 trillion spending bill. Independent Women’s Voice, the leading women’s organization exposing the consequences of creating a one-size-fits-all paid leave entitlement program, released the following statement from its Vice President Carrie Lukas:

“American workers — especially women — should be relieved that, reportedly, the federal paid leave proposal has been stripped from the massive infrastructure package. A federal paid leave program may sound good, but in reality, it would leave millions of workers with reduced benefits, and undermine workplace flexibility and employment opportunities for millions of workers. We’ve seen consistently that state paid leave programs transfer money from low-income workers to high-income workers, and leave women worse off. Congress needs to be careful to craft a better approach that avoids these pitfalls.

“Paid leave is also just too serious of an issue to be rushed through this process. Americans — as workers, consumers, and employers — should have the chance to hear all the details of how a paid leave proposal would work, how it would be implemented, and how it would be paid for. Lawmakers shouldn’t be trying to rewrite the employment contract and upend the existing benefit packages of every single working American in a rush just so they can cram it into a massive, cobbled together spending package, without debate, without careful analysis.”

Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), and its 501(c)(3) sister organization Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), have been an active voice on the issue of paid leave — identifying better solutions that are fair and flexible. IWV and IWF recently led a coalition of 19 organizations in expressing opposition to a federal leave program. The letter can be found HERE.

Additional materials from IWV on paid leave can be found HERE.