Why does the ACLU advocate for paid family and medical leave?

Hot on the heels of “ACLU says it is okay for the government to poke around in a law office if two government workers agree” … A friend refused to increase her contributions to the ACLU because they are advocating for paid family and medical leave:

Today more women work full time than ever before, yet women continue to disproportionately bear the burden of caring for sick family members.

Without paid leave, employees are forced to risk job loss or financial ruin in order to care for their loved ones – a newborn baby, an aging parent or a sick spouse.

Paid Family and Medical Leave bills (H.2172 & S.1048) would guarantee job-protected paid leave, eliminating that cruel choice.

No worker should have to choose between their job and the health of their family. As we work to advance women’s rights, paid family and medical leave is the next critical step to creating a stronger, healthier, more equitable Massachusetts.

In her mind, this issue did not relate to free speech.

What part of the ACLU mission does relate to this? Certainly the employer is not getting more freedom of speech because he or she is being forced to write checks that otherwise might not have been written.

One area where the ACLU could make money is management consulting. In the pre-filled letter to send to politicians, the organization suggests that members write that, with this kind of law in place, “employers save money by retaining better staff”. Thus any rational employer should implement a paid leave system even in the absence of a law forcing them to do it. But profit-seeking employers are leaving money on the table, so to speak, by not paying workers to not work. So the ACLU could charge employers to educate them on the profit-enhancing technique that the ACLU knows about, but that employers don’t know about.

Readers: I’m sure that everyone can agree on the desirability of “a stronger, healthier, more equitable Massachusetts,” but how is it a “civil liberty” to get paid while not working?

[Separately, the Massachusetts resident who wants to get 23 years of paid family leave at $40,000 per year, tax-free, can do it by having sex with someone earning $250,000 per year and then getting hold of the resulting child. To get $80,000 per year, the resident can have sex twice… See the Massachusetts chapter of Real World Divorce (though marriage is not required to gain this paid leave, and, when selling an abortion at a discount to the net present value of the child support cashflow, neither is caring for a child).]

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10 Comments

  1. Jack

    April 14, 2018 @ 1:06 pm

    1

    Wow — with the US inexorably descending into fascism and (according to James Comey) our nation under the thumb of a President akin to Carlo Gambino you would think that the ACLU would have better things to do than try to make it more expensive to hire unskilled labor.

  2. toucan sam

    April 14, 2018 @ 4:38 pm

    2

    I think the ACLU has lost its way! I used to be a big fan but now I think they are not really any different than moveon.org

  3. Steve

    April 14, 2018 @ 7:21 pm

    3

    Intersectional charityhood.

    ACLU is picking positions to maximize donations, not to defend principles.

  4. Mark

    April 14, 2018 @ 7:35 pm

    4

    I’m confused, don’t we already have this?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_and_Medical_Leave_Act_of_1993

  5. Sam

    April 14, 2018 @ 11:38 pm

    5

    Mark. – FMLA is for unpaid leave, not paid leave.

  6. Anonymous

    April 15, 2018 @ 4:52 am

    6

    Since children need support for 23 years, should this paid leave be for 23 years? And for both parents, so as not to be discriminatory?

  7. Mememe

    April 15, 2018 @ 1:05 pm

    7

    philg, if your friend is still interested in blowing some cash for free speech, she should consider giving to the Gideon Bible society. There are no books more suppressed than those within the King James Bible. In mainland China, printing and possessing unauthourized bibles is a crime against the state. In Islamic countries, promulgating the Christian faith is a capital offense.

    Here in the United States, the Gideons face anti-religious bias constantly, and can use the help.

    If your friend is put off by the evangelical aspect of their, mission, she should consider the source of those feelings. Does she have an unconscious bigotry against religion or christianity? A quick test for unconscious bigotry is an immediate visceral reaction against the mention of the thing despised. What diet of ideas has turned her stomach against the divine?

    Alternatively to giving to the Gideons, she can buy a case of good wine and share it with her friends. Nothing prompts free speech so much as a liberal cup. *in vino veritas*.

  8. Tony Doe

    April 16, 2018 @ 8:48 am

    8

    O’Sullivan’s law. I was a “card carrying member of the ACLU” until last year when I left because it was pretty clear that they were going to use “disproportionate impact on women/minorities” to become indistinguishable from the democratic party. It’s also funny how what was “democrat” 8 years ago is now “actual Nazi”.

  9. philg

    April 16, 2018 @ 9:27 am

    9

    Tony: I hadn’t see https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=O%E2%80%99Sullivan%E2%80%99s%20Law before. I’m still not sure why these various organizations would dilute their missions by advocating across a wide range of issues. So maybe O’Sullivan’s law explains what the issues will be, but is it a complete explanation for the broadening?

  10. Tony Doe

    April 16, 2018 @ 10:18 am

    10

    philg: I’m not sure. I think it’s just a total organizational colonization. Rather than do all the work of building an organization from scratch with the reach of the ACLU, just join in mass numbers and kick everyone else out. The ACLU may drop it’s defense of free speech because it conflicts with “racial justice”.

    How did Bank of America go from underwriting loans and collecting TARP bonuses to telling Americans what kind of rifles they should own?

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