Results from a statewide poll commissioned by the Economic Opportunity Institute indicate that a vast majority of Washington residents favor expanding family leave benefits and are willing to pay for it. The poll, conducted by the Evans/McDonough Company in October 2000, determined voter interest in expanding the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
The act provides for unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks for workers in businesses or organizations with 50 or more employees; leave may be used to take care of a newborn or newly adopted child, a seriously ill family member, or for the worker’s own serious medical condition. The Economic Opportunity Institute (EOI) is a nonpartisan, public policy institute working on issues of economic security for working families.
The poll showed strong support for government action to expand family leave job protections to more workers and a willingness to fund a family leave insurance program.
- 81% strongly or somewhat strongly favor the existing Family and Medical Leave Act.
- 74% favor establishing Family Leave Insurance for Washington workers and would support a new two cent an hour payroll tax shared by workers and employers to fund it.
- 73% continued to support a new family leave insurance fund even after hearing opposing arguments.