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LA Councilwoman Nury Martinez to Take a Stand in National Paid Family Leave Debate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, February 4, 2014

CONTACT: Linda Serrato-Ybarra, 213-718-1923, linda.serratoybarra@lacity.org
                    Anastasia Ordonez, 510-590-8471, anastasia.ordonez@thenextgeneration.org

Councilwoman Nury Martinez to Take a Stand in National Paid Family Leave Debate

Former State Senator Sheila Kuehl joins Councilwoman Martinez for a press conference anticipating City Council’s vote on support for the FAMILY Act and introducing a motion to build awareness of paid family medical leave in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES, CA – TOMORROW, February 5, 2014, Councilwoman Nury Martinez will host a press conference with former State Senator and California Paid Family Leave act author Sheila Kuehl, in support of the recently introduced federal FAMILY Act. The press conference will be followed by a City Council vote on the Councilwoman’s motion to support the national FAMILY Act and a new call on the city to raise awareness of the California paid family leave program in Los Angeles.

WHO: Councilwoman Nury Martinez, former State Senator and California Paid Family Leave act author Sheila Kuehl and affected workers
WHAT:  Press conference in support of recently proposed national paid family leave legislation, and to raise awareness of California’s Paid Family Leave program among residents of Los Angeles
WHEN: Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 9:30AM
WHERE: Los Angeles City Hall
                200 N. Spring St.
                Los Angeles, CA 90012
                (On the steps facing 1st St.)

Media should RSVP to Linda Serrato-Ybarra, Linda.serratoybarra@lacity.org, 213-718-1923 with attendee names and vehicle information for underground parking.

Currently, Angelenos have the lowest awareness among Californians of their right to take paid family leave. In addition, most are already paying for the program through payroll deductions. While this important program guarantees partial pay, more than a third of California workers fear retaliation by their employers if they take advantage of it. For too many new mothers, their employment status is a frequent barrier to many important bonding practices such as breastfeeding, which has been found to have short and long-term medical and neurodevelopmental advantages.

With one in four California babies born in Los Angeles County, it is particularly vital for families living paycheck to paycheck that Los Angeles becomes a leader in raising awareness of paid family leave. To further promote California's Paid Family Leave Program and educate our city's residents about their rights under this law,  Councilwoman Nury Martinez will be introducing a motion directing city departments to post posters informing workers of their rights  in city buildings that serve the public (i.e. libraries, arts centers and recreation centers).

With the support of the California Work & Family Coalition, a project of Next Generation, Councilwoman Martinez will also lead the Los Angeles City Council in support of the federal FAMILY Act introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) in December 2013. This bill would establish national paid family leave modeled on California’s successful program. The current federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provides only unpaid, job-protected leave to workers who use the program, but the proposed FAMILY Act will offer paid benefits for up to 12 weeks in addition to job security.

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About California Work & Family Coalition

The California Work & Family Coalition, a project of Next Generation, is an alliance of community organizations, unions and non-profits protecting every California worker’s right to put their family first. We work together to promote work family policies that help parents, caregivers, children and families thrive.

Learn more at www.workfamilyca.org and on Twitter @WorkFamilyCA.

About Next Generation

Next Generation promotes solutions to two of the biggest challenges confronting the next generation of Americans:  The risk of dangerous climate change, and the threat of diminished prospects for children and families. Through the use of non-partisan research, policy development, and strategic communications, we identify strategies that help deploy clean, advanced energy technologies; we also work to ensure a level playing field from which today’s kids can build a brighter future.

Learn more at www.thenextgeneration.org, www.facebook.com/thenextgeneration.org and on Twitter @nextgen_USA.

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