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Poll shows strong support for paid family leave programs

CHICAGO – Time off from work to care for a child or relative is codified in federal law. Now, an overwhelming majority of Americans 40 and older want that time away from the job to be paid.

An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll says 72 per cent support paid family leave. Democrats are more likely to back it, but Republicans also express strong support. Support was stronger among 40- to 64-year-olds and women.

At least 19 states are considering paid family leave laws, but only three have active programs. New York will launch its program in 2018.

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act provides for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for most workers. A bill to make the leave paid has gone nowhere in Congress.