Sheryl Sandberg recently spoke up in support of the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act in a Bloomberg TV interview. It was a big deal, because Sandberg has been criticized in the past for focusing on personal “Lean In” tactics over systemic change.
Obviously, nationalized paid leave is a big systemic change.
For those unfamiliar with the FAMILY Act, it is the most feasible progressive bill that would create a national paid leave insurance program. If implemented, it would allow all working people to take partially paid time away from their jobs to address serious personal or medical issues.
Paid family leave will soon to be in place in five states and the District of Columbia.
In the interview Sandberg also made a point about another issue that, along with maternity leave, holds women back at work, no matter how hard they lean in. She said that companies should have a zero-tolerance policy to sexual harassment, with offenders losing their jobs–and I can’t disagree with that. Sexual harassers and abusers, regardless of gender, should not be tolerated or rewarded by being allowed to keep their jobs. She said:
“I think it’s great when people lose their jobs when it happens, because I think that is what will get people to not do it in the future. And I think this is a leadership challenge. As a leader of a company, there needs to be no tolerance for it.”