By Fran Pastore
The coronavirus pandemic upended our lives in every possible way over the past 12 months, impacting how we learn, live and work. It is a powerful reminder of the fragility of health and the immeasurable importance of family.
The public health crisis has highlighted the need for workers to have access to family leave. That need was recognized by the federal government in March 2020, when Congress approved the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, requiring smaller employees to provide paid leave to employees to care for themselves or a loved one’s COVID-19-related health needs. But federal paid leave ended on Dec. 31 and was not renewed in the most recent coronavirus aid package.
Vaccination is underway, but it will be months before enough Americans are protected. Meanwhile, some COVID-19 survivors are facing long-term health issues. The need for financial security when crisis strikes will remain for countless families.