Cicilline Hosts Perez for Tour, "Lead on Leave" Roundtable

Apr 24, 2015

PAWTUCKET - U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline welcomed U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez to Pawtucket this afternoon for a tour of Gold International Machinery and LNA Laser Technology and a roundtable discussion on paid leave.

"Today's visit was a wonderful opportunity to shine a light on how Rhode Island is leading the way on paid leave and helping ensure that more families have the opportunity to succeed in today's economy,” said Secretary Perez. “I have no doubt that federal paid leave is a when, not if question thanks to the example being set in Rhode Island and the leadership of Congressman Ciciline and the state's delegation in Washington."

“Our economy is changing and evolving every day – making it even more difficult for working men and women to find the right balance between their job and family. The United States is one of only three countries today that does not offer paid maternity leave. It’s time for us to get on the right side of this issue, and make paid leave a reality for working families,” said Cicilline. “Secretary Perez and his colleagues in the Obama administration are doing incredible work right now to bring greater attention to the issue of paid leave, and I thank him for joining us in Rhode Island today.”

“Paid leave is critical for parents and families.  It helps businesses and employees have the work-life balance that enables our economy to produce and working families to thrive,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, who is a cosponsor of the FAMILY Act, which would allow for 12 weeks of paid leave for all U.S. workers with family or medical needs.

"Paid family leave is an investment in our workforce and in families. Nobody should be forced to choose between a paycheck and caring for a family member in need," said Congressman Jim Langevin. "Thank you to Secretary Perez for leading a fantastic discussion, to Congressman Cicilline for convening this roundtable and to the Gold family for sharing a first-hand business perspective on the benefits of paid leave. Rhode Island is leading the way on providing benefits that support families and a strong workforce, and I will continue to fight for these important programs at the federal level."

State Senator Gayle Goldin, Department of Labor and Training Director Scott Jensen, Rhode Island AFL-CIO President George Nee, District 1199 SEIU Executive Vice President Patrick Quinn, and LNA Laser Technology President Dan Gold also took part in Friday’s paid leave discussion.

Secretary Perez and other Obama administration officials are currently traveling the country to meet with employers, workers, government officials, and other stakeholders to highlight the importance of paid leave.