Letters to the Editor

Cradle Act makes workers pay for leave

We all can agree bonding with an infant or adopted child is vital to the well-being of the child and parents. Yet being able to take multiple weeks off work can range from an inconvenience to an impossibility. If the employer has more than 50 workers, the Family Medical Leave Act allows up to 12 weeks leave. This time is unpaid. Smaller companies are free to set their own policies.

We have started to see Republicans talking about parental leave. I’m happy they are acknowledging the overdue need for paid parental leave, but many people would not agree with their methods.

Sen. Joni Ernst announced the Cradle Act. It proposes people delay their retirement to pay for parental leave. Using Social Security funds to pay for parental leave taxes employees’ savings and increases the burden on them to work longer at the end of their careers.

Touting the bill’s budget neutral nature is laughable. Ernst helped raise our debt by $1.9 trillion with her vote for the Republicans’ tax cuts. Why should the wealthiest among us receive tax savings while average Americans are taxed just to take care of their children?

We need a bill that shows the United States values healthy families. Investing in people will produce healthier, happier employees who will help their companies be more profitable. Let’s close the tax loopholes for corporations and use that money to fund paid parental leave.

Erin Owen

Cedar Rapids

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