Haaland, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Support Family Friendly Workplaces, Incentivize Businesses to Implement Family Friendly Policies

July 23, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – As a single mom who knows the struggles of raising a child, Congresswoman Deb Haaland (N.M.-01) is leading her colleagues on a bill aimed at supporting family friendly workplaces and incentivizing businesses to implement family friendly policies for their workers. The Honoring Family Friendly Workplaces Act would create a Department of Labor certification program that recognizes exemplary family-friendly businesses by promoting best practices, incentivizing businesses to adapt to the realities of working parents lives and helping employees to evaluate potential employers. The bill is co-led by Representatives Nydia Velázquez (N.Y.-12), Grace Napolitano (Calif.-32), José E. Serrano (N.Y.-15), Donald M. Payne (N.J.-10), Nanette Diaz Barragán (Calif.-44), André Carson (Ind.-7), Julia Brownley (Calif.-26), Alcee L. Hastings (Fla.-20), Bobby Rush (Ill.-01), and Lucille Roybal-Allard (Calif.-40).


“Our parents deserve workplaces that value family just as much at they do, but right now the people over profits mentality makes it difficult for many to both support their family financially and care for their family. As a single Mom, I know the challenges that working parents face every day, and the federal government needs to do more to promote positive changes in our workplaces. That’s why we’re introducing a program that will nudge businesses to do the right thing to improve the lives of our families,” said Rep. Deb Haaland.


“Family-friendly workplaces make a big difference in the health and well being of hard-working families,” said Rep. Julia Brownley. “I am proud to support this bill that will recognize businesses that are leaders in this area, encourage businesses to adapt to the realities of the workforce of today, and promote a healthier work-life balance for American families. I look forward to working with Congresswoman Haaland to move this important bill forward.”


“I’m honored to be a lead cosponsor of this important legislation that helps Americans succeed personally and professionally. Parents should not have to choose between financial security and caring for their children. When we promote progressive workplace standards that meet the realities of families, we can strengthen people and the economy. I urge my colleagues to support this bill and move our workplaces in the right direction,” said Rep. Carson.


“American workers need and deserve a workplace that allows them to earn a living wage without sacrificing care for their family. The Family Friendly Workplaces Act would create a certification process to incentivize businesses to adopt key policies and practices to help working couples have, raise, and properly take care of children and other family members. This bill will help improve family life in America and modernize American workplaces to adapt to the reality of today’s workforce, when both parents more often than not work full time,” said Rep. Serrano. 


The certification program introduced in the Honoring Family Friendly Workplaces Act is modeled after the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program which helps consumers identify energy-efficient products and evaluates businesses on a number of policies. 


If signed into law, businesses will be evaluated on their policies including:

  • Paid sick days for workers;
  • Child care assistance;
  • Support for breastfeeding mothers; 
  • Reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers;
  • Accommodations for families seeking fertility treatment or adoption services;
  • Paid family leave of at least 12 weeks per year and flexible hours once parents return to work after a birth, adoption, or foster care placement. 


By promoting progressive workplace reform, the bill helps to advance the rights of women, improves the well-being of children and families, and aids businesses in getting the most out of their employees. 


The full bill text is available here


Support for the Honoring Family Friendly Workplaces Act

“Employers that adopt family friendly policies improve the lives of their employees, raise the bar for industry standards and promote better state and federal policies. As a leading advocate for paid leave and paid sick days, we commend Congresswoman Haaland for introducing the Honoring Family Friendly Workplaces Act, which recognizes companies that provide critical workplace supports like paid family and medical leave and paid sick days. These benefits are worthwhile investments that improve the lives of employees and employers as well as families and communities.”   – Debra L. Ness, President of the National Partnership for Women & Families 


“I applaud Congresswoman Haaland’s leadership on this issue because the Friendly Workplaces Act will support children and strengthen families here in New Mexico and across the United States.  Our Congresswoman knows that children are healthier and their parents more stable and productive when employers recognize the particular challenges facing working parents and provide the essential supports that they need.” – Maggie Hart Stebbins, Bernalillo County Commissioner


“Family Friendly New Mexico has worked with hundreds of businesses across the state, impacting hundreds of thousands of working families. Our experience has shown us that adopting family friendly practices is good for everyone: employers gain a loyal and more reliable workforce, and employees and their families enjoy a better quality of life. We are glad the work of pioneering businesses in New Mexico is being recognized on a national stage.” – Giovanna Rossi, founder of Family Friendly New Mexico, a non-profit initiative recognizing businesses with family friendly workplace policies since 2015


"At Young Women United, we honor that every family is unique. As a ‘family friendly’ employer, we know that creating room for our staff to care for themselves and their loved ones is key to our organizational success. Too few families have access to resources they need to thrive. This legislation is an important step in building New Mexican communities where women and people of color can both provide for our families, and contribute to flourishing New Mexico economies.” - Charlene Bencomo, Executive Director, Young Women United 

"We commend Congresswoman Haaland for sponsoring this important legislation recognizing employers who take the high road by treating employees as assets and allowing them to take the time needed to care for themselves and loved ones." -- Working Families New Mexico