Letter: Support Proposition 118 | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Support Proposition 118

Recent studies have shown that women, people of color and low wage workers are the least likely to have access to paid family and medical leave, despite the fact that these groups are the most likely to need access to the benefit. That’s a problem. These are communities and groups that already face too many hardships because of systemic problems in our education, health care and housing policies, and having to choose between their loved ones and their income shouldn’t be one of them. Proposition 118 would correct this inequity by providing a minimum of 12 weeks paid leave for employees to care for new babies, ill family members or other medical emergencies.

Under the proposed plan in Prop. 118, low-income workers would be able to take time off to address their emergencies and still take home up to 90% of their wages, which helps people stay employed and afloat during tough times. This proposition is good for workers as the average worker would pay less than $4 per week to have access to 12 weeks of reduced salary in the event of a health or family emergency. Too many workers have to make the difficult choice between caring for their families and supporting them financially, Prop. 118 could put an end to that.

In addition, this proposition would help business owners retain their trained workers. The small business owners could offer more competitive benefits and businesses with fewer than 10 employees would not pay the employer premium although their workers would still have access to the benefit.

Now more than ever we need policies that support all Colorado workers and keep them safe and healthy. Vote yes on Prop. 118.

Jane Toothaker
Steamboat Springs

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