More Than 70 Businesses Are Closing Today in a Call to Pass Paid Family Leave

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For the first time, on Monday, March 18, more than 70 brands and organizations in the country are closing their doors for a day to spotlight the nation’s lack of paid family leave—and urge lawmakers to urgently pass federal legislation.

We’re Closed for Paid Leave, coordinated by Paid Leave for All, is the first collective action of its kind, with global companies such as fashion brand Hatch, stroller company Bugaboo, and postpartum wellness company Anya—supported by actor Freida Pinto—taking part.

The day of action symbolizes what could happen if women are forced to exit the workforce because of the lack of paid family and medical leave. The United States is one of only seven countries in the world with no form of national paid family leave. Glamour has partnered with Paid Leave for All on our #passpaidleave campaign (you can sign the petition here). And we followed eight women, with varying access to paid leave, through the first 28 days postpartum to show the urgency and importance of a paid parental leave policy.

“On this day, women across the country are coming together in solidarity to write our labor back into history—one where our work is visible, valued, and protected,” said Dawn Huckelbridge, founding director of Paid Leave for All. “Paid leave is a powerful tool for economic growth and for gender and racial equity, and Congress can’t take women, our issues—or our votes—for granted any longer.”

“This initiative is about the protection and support of all women and families during one of the most vulnerable and transitional moments in their lives,” Ariane Goldman, founder and CEO of Hatch, said.

“I’m proud to stand with the Closed to Pass Paid Leave campaign,” Chuck Rocha, founder of Solidarity Strategies, said. “Women are the backbone of our workforce, and it's time to pass paid leave now.”

While this initiative is being launched during Women’s History Month, paid leave would have enormous benefits for all working people—giving all employees the ability to take time off to care for themselves, a sick relative, or a newborn or adopted child. At the moment only 27% of private workers have access to paid leave through their jobs. And one in four women has returned to work within two weeks of giving birth due to the lack of paid leave.

Paid leave as a policy is gaining traction. President Biden recently pledged a commitment to passing paid leave during his State of the Union address, and included a historic $325 billion provision for paid leave in his 2025 budget, widely seen as a blueprint for his second term.

“Black, brown, and Indigenous women’s history of caregiving is core to the fabric of this country. Even now, upwards of 75% of all caregivers are female,” said Josephine Kalipeni, executive director of Family Values @ Work. “We must demand that Congress pass paid leave legislation on a national level. The well-being of our children and families depends on it.”

While paid leave impacts all Americans, women have been disproportionately tasked with caregiving while increasingly taking breadwinning roles, and without policy support. It has cost women—particularly low-income women and Black women—their jobs, pay, and mental and physical health. Reports also show that women are facing alarmingly high levels of burnout, which has been disproportionately higher than men—a gap that has more than doubled since 2019. Likewise, the maternal mortality rate has more than doubled in the last 20 years.

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Originally Appeared on Glamour