The administration of President Joe Biden on Thursday praised Minnesota for becoming the 12th state to enact paid family leave for new parents, after Gov. Tim Walz signed the legislation into law. File Photo courtesy of Max Pixel
May 26 (UPI) -- The administration of President Joe Biden on Thursday praised Minnesota for becoming the 12th state to enact paid family leave for new parents, after Gov. Tim Walz signed the legislation into law.
"Universal paid family and medical leave means no Minnesotan has to make the choice between a paycheck and taking time off to care for a new baby or a sick family member," Walz said in a statement.
"For the sustainability of our workforce and the future of our economy, I'm proud to sign it into law."
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that the move by Minnesota "will ensure that Minnesotans can take the time they need to recover from a serious illness, care for a sick family member or welcome a new child without losing a paycheck."
"The paid family and medical leave program will grow Minnesota's economy by helping Minnesotans stay in the workforce and boosting families' economic security," she said.
"The Biden-Harris administration continues to support national paid family and medical leave for families across the country and applauds states like Minnesota that have made significant progress in advancing comprehensive paid leave."
There are no federal laws that protect a right to paid family or medical leave.
The 11 other states to have passed paid family and medical leave are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington, along with Washington D.C.
According to the International Labor Organization, the United States lags behind more than 120 countries around the globe in providing maternity leave or paid family leave, including some conflict-torn countries such as Afghanistan and Israel.
In a 2021 report, the Kaiser Family Foundation -- a health policy research and news organization -- noted that research indicates that paid family and medical leave has been associated with improved physical and mental health for new parents, decreased infant mortality and better workers.
However, critics claim that paid family leave can hurt businesses with increased taxes and constitutes government overreach into the free market.