Patagonia expressed its support for paid leave – both for its own employees and nationwide – in this poignant ad featuring powerful employee testimonials about the impact of paid leave. These stories show the value of paid leave across a spectrum of needs, including time to bond with new children, care for seriously ill family members or address one’s own medical needs. Patagonia shared the PSA in emails to its customers and on the brand’s online platforms. And Levi Strauss recorded videos of employees sharing personal stories about what paid leave means to them, which the company promoted to honor the 25th anniversary of the nation’s unpaid leave law, the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Many businesses have articulated their support for national paid leave through company blog posts, drawing the connection between the benefits of their own internal paid leave policies and the need for a national standard. Adobe, Geben Communication and Seventh Generation have written pieces calling for congressional and private sector action. Levi Strauss has written multiple pieces demonstrating the company’s support for national paid leave, including a post originally published on the Human Rights Campaign blog explaining the importance of inclusive paid leave to LGBTQ equality.
In interviews, at events and through public remarks, many business leaders have affirmed their support for national paid leave. Sheryl Sandberg has spoken to Bloomberg, Fortune, NPR and more about the need for national paid leave and the strengths of the FAMLY Act, a specific federal proposal. Adobe’s Rosemary Arriada-Keiper and Donna Morris have spoken about the need and the FAMILY Act at public events, including on a MAKERS panel where Arriada-Keiper connected the policy to the broader movement for workplace gender equity.
Business leaders from five national companies — including Badger Balm, Eileen Fisher, The Honest Company, Seventh Generation and UncommonGoods — joined together to raise their voices in support of the FAMILY Act on Capitol Hill when they met with federal legislators about how national paid leave would be good for business. They spoke with both Democrats and Republicans to show the business need for national paid family leave – even among high-road employers that already provide paid leave benefits to their workforce. Other businesses, including Adobe and Levi Strauss, have also lobbied members of Congress in support of the FAMILY Act.
InkHouse CEO Beth Monaghan spoke at a U.S. House of Representatives roundtable about the need for a national paid family and medical leave policy like the FAMILY Act. As the CEO of a rapidly growing, multi-state company, Monaghan articulated the business case for an inclusive national policy that would allow companies of all sizes to recruit and retain the best workers – improving productivity and resulting in significant cost savings. She also emphasized the importance of a national standard to promote equity and create a common national baseline, citing her experience operating in locations with and without statewide paid leave programs.
Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley Tom Nides is a longtime proponent of paid leave. As Deputy Secretary of State, he advocated for better parental leave for federal employees in an interview with Foreign Policy. Since returning to Morgan Stanley, he has spoken publicly about the need for national paid leave and endorsed the FAMILY Act in a Huffington Post piece. SAP Senior Vice President Jenny Dearborn also wrote a Huffington Post op-ed explaining the need for national paid leave. And to commemorate Labor Day, Sheryl Sandberg wrote a Washington Post op-ed calling for a comprehensive national paid leave solution, such as the FAMILY Act.
UncommonGoods communicates directly with its customers about the need for national paid leave and provides opportunities to take action. The company created a page on its website with information and resources, published multiple blog posts, devoted a page to the issue in a seasonal catalog and sent action alerts to email subscribers with ways for customers to contact members of Congress. This multimedia, multifaceted approach communicates the company’s values and makes it easy for customers to join advocacy efforts. Patagonia has similarly shared action alerts with its email subscribers in advance of important paid leave events and anniversaries to encourage customer engagement with the issue on the state and federal levels.
Dozens of companies have used their social media platforms to express support for a national paid leave policy, an action that allows them to reach customers, employees, business peers, policymakers and the media. From short tweets to in-depth LinkedIn posts, companies have spotlighted their own internal policies while celebrating caregivers, highlighting individual stories, honoring important milestones and thanking lawmakers for their support of strong paid leave policies. On the 25th anniversary of the FMLA in 2018, companies including Adobe, Eileen Fisher, Patagonia, XO Group, and Working Mother Media all tweeted messages of celebration while calling for the next step — a national paid leave policy.