Letters: Should state require paid family leave?

Child care is a large part of the family budget. Experts advise making wise choices when finding a caregiver.
Child care is a large part of the family budget. Experts advise making wise choices when finding a caregiver. Photo Credit: iStock

Readers shared their views after Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s op-ed in amNewYork explained his plan for paid family leave. Cuomo proposes a law to require 12 full weeks of job-protected leave for any employee, regardless of business size. The governor said the program would be funded through employee contributions and cost businesses nothing.

I’m all for paid family leave. It will strengthen not only family bonds, which this city and country lack, but also the economy when people are able to return to work.

I wish this benefit existed when my husband became sick in the 1990s. I used all of my vacation and personal time, and I ultimately had to leave work to care for him and our children. After he passed away, I worked three jobs to keep a roof over our heads.

People should not have to choose between caring for a newborn or a sick family member and being able to pay the bills, especially if there is no other support system.

Kathleen Cruz



It seems that politicians from Ronald Reagan to Andrew Cuomo can’t resist promising something for nothing. Parental leave won’t cost businesses, which is a powerful lobby. Instead, the cost will be paid by the same low-wage worker the governor says he’s aiding. They are not a powerful lobby. Why should such workers subsidize others’ family leave?

Alan Lubliner

Upper West Side


I agree with paid family leave, but I suggest separate 12 weeks each for mother and father, making 24 weeks of bonding. As for single mothers, give them 24 weeks. This is an even better investment than pre-kindergarten.

Doris Rosenhaus

Upper West Side


Gov. Cuomo’s proposal is still below international labor standards, which is a minimum 14 paid weeks. But it is still a step in the right direction.

Parents should not lose income or be put at a disadvantage because they give birth. This leave would also be of great benefit to people of disadvantaged groups who cannot afford to lose a day’s pay. Their children would be more likely to benefit from breast-feeding, immunization and other essential activities for a child’s health and development.

Paid family leave is not only useful for parent-child bonding, but for gender equity in the workplace. It could provide a safety net, particularly for women, making them less prone to postpartum depression.

Ife Smith



My thanks to Gov. Cuomo for a smart, well-researched op-ed on paid family leave. He is correct that paid leave wouldn’t hurt business, as nearly every other country and a few trailblazing states have demonstrated with their own programs. Additionally, the lack of paid parental leave specifically is unfair to both parents and children, and it puts our country at a disadvantage.

Laura Forer



I agree that New York should make a law to require paid family leave. I am a spouse taking care of my husband. If I need time off to take care of him, I would hope I could get some pay for it.

Latchmin Mobin

Richmond Hill