There's been some local press lately asserting that the DC business community is opposed to paid family leave. We know that's not true; why else would we have so many local businesses signed on to our coalition? Small businesses in particular have expressed that this would allow them to offer their employees an important benefit that they can't currently offer out-of-pocket.
It's simple: Strong leave policies are good for businesses. Just read the words of Susan Wojcicki in the pages of the Wall Street Journal last year. Seventeen years ago, she was the first employee to take maternity leave at a small startup called Google.
When [Google] increased paid maternity leave to 18 from 12 weeks in 2007, the rate at which new moms left Google fell by 50%. ... Mothers were able to take the time they needed to bond with their babies and return to their jobs feeling confident and ready. And it’s much better for Google’s bottom line--to avoid costly turnover, and to retain the valued expertise, skills and perspective of our employees who are mothers.
Wojcicki, of course, was lucky; we don't all get to work for Google. But luck shouldn't determine whether or not you can access paid leave -- or whether your business can offer the kinds of benefits that attract and retain great workers. DC's program would level the playing field for employees and employers alike. If that's not good for business, what is?