On May 3, the New Jersey Time to Care Coalition, along with Senate President Sweeney’s office, hosted a birthday party to celebrate the 4 year anniversary of the Family Leave Insurance (FLI) program in New Jersey at the State House in Trenton. The event was both festive and moving, as legislators, workers, and advocates gathered to share how they personally have been touched by this policy in times of need for their families.
Senator Sweeney and Senate Majority Leader Weinberg shared their experiences of taking leave to care for loved ones. Also at the event were workers and members of the business community who spoke about the benefits of the policy for the economy. Attendees of the event were treated to birthday cake, as well as a short film about the policy. The Amplification Project has teamed up with the Time to Care Coalition to advocate for strengthening Family Leave Insurance. While the event celebrated the benefits of the FLI program, advocates highlighted the need for improvements in the New Jersey program as well as the need for a federal paid family leave. The Amplification Project debuted the Family Leave campaign video, which can be viewed here, as Senators Sweeney and Weinberg (pictured left) watched along with the audience at the event.
Throughout the Family Leave campaign ,the Amplification Project aims to highlight the success of the FLI program in New Jersey, raise awareness of the benefits available to workers in New Jersey, and make the case that a federal Family Leave policy is essential to the well-being of workers and their families in all 50 states. There is increasing advocacy in other states about the need for paid family leave, and the New Jersey Family Leave campaign will amplify their efforts through providing examples of how important FLI has been to workers in this state.
Advocates stressed the point that the United States is the only industrialized country without a federal paid family leave program. As for improvements to the New Jersey Program, workers spoke about the elusive nature as the program, and the need for a public awareness and education campaign to help workers recognize the availability of FLI benefits. Additionally, advocates are calling for better data collection on the New Jersey program, as well as an expansion of the definition of eligible family members beyond parents and children. To learn more about the FLI campaign, please visit the Take Action Page of our website.