Boston Globe, Letters, 6/23/16

THE GLOBE’S take on the deserving bills in need of action this legislative session got many things right (“A wish list for Beacon Hill”). Energy bill — a must. Zoning reform — desperately needed. But the list was missing two important, high-profile bills: paid family leave and equal pay.

As the Globe editorialized in February, both workers and employers win with paid leave. In California, one of four states with paid leave, 89 percent of employers report that paid family leave had either a “positive effect” or “no noticeable effect” on productivity, with 91 percent saying the same about profitability and performance. Massachusetts should follow these states’ leads.

The wage gap contributes to income inequality, and holds our economy back. Nationally, the number of working single mothers living in poverty would be cut in half if women received equal pay. In Massachusetts, our economy misses out on $11 billion each year because of the wage gap. The time for equal pay is now.

The end of the session is fast approaching, and the Legislature’s to-do list is long, but the Commonwealth would be well served by these two bills being at the top of the State House agenda.

Jesse Mermell

President

The Alliance for Business Leadership

Boston