Something happened this week that we should all celebrate: Legislators in Rhode Island took a big step towards valuing workers and their families by becoming the third state in the nation to pass legislation providing workers with family leave insurance.

If Governor Chafee signs the legislation, workers in Rhode Island who have a baby or need to care for a seriously ill family member (including domestic partners and grandparents) will be able to receive up to four weeks of wage replacement. The law includes job protection and continuation of health benefits while the worker is on leave. Rhode Island joins the two states that have already implemented such policies — California in 2004 and New Jersey in 2009. Washington passed legislation providing paid parental leave, but has not yet implemented the program.

That’s a good day for Americans.


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