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Rep. Anna Eskamani calls Publix’s new paid parental leave policy, “a bare minimum standard.” Here’s why.

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Publix has announced it will provide workers with paid parental leave starting in the new year. 

Full and part-time workers who welcome children in 2022 either as birth or adoptive parents will be eligible for at least two weeks of paid parental leave. 

Rep. Anna Eskamani says that’s a start, but calls it a bare minimum standard as Congress is currently considering twelve weeks of national paid family leave.

Eskamani says businesses like Publix could continue to experience staffing shortages during what’s being called “The Great Resignation” unless they offer better benefits.  

“Workers have the advantage now where employers have to compete for workers. And so workers can ask more as they should. Because for a very long time though they are essential in working grocery stores especially during the pandemic, they’ve never been paid as if they are essential.”

Eskamani says paid leave is a crucial safety net, especially for working moms who often bear the brunt of childcare, either providing it themselves or paying for it. 

“Some of the biggest barriers that women face to advancing in their careers are childcare costs. And it becomes cheaper to just leave the workforce and care for that child versus maintain your job. And so this has long-term impacts on wealth development, on generational wealth issues. And so, it has a huge opportunity to provide more equity in the workforce.”

Only nine states and the District of Columbia have mandated paid family and medical leave. Florida is not included in this list.


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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »

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