I’m glad to hear Hannaford Supermarkets will now be offering paid parental leave to some of its employees (Aug. 28).

I know firsthand the difference having access to paid family and medical leave can make. When my first daughter was born, I was working at a job with paid leave benefits. But by the time my second daughter was born, I was a small-business owner and my husband and I were full time in our startup, and I was back to work only a few days after giving birth.

This is why we need more than businesses to offer paid leave benefits one at a time – we need a national paid leave family and medical insurance program that covers all businesses, regardless of size or industry, and all individuals, whether they are employees who work part-time or full-time, individuals who are self-employed, independent contractors or business owners themselves.

In the construction business, we work with many subcontractors with small or one-person shops. They are in the same boat needing a program like this. The cost of offering short-term disability insurance was astronomical for my small business, particularly in the construction industry.

People should not have to work for one of the three largest employers in our state to get paid leave. A state or national paid leave insurance program, like the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, would level the playing field between big and small business and just makes sense for a society that cares about family.

Emily Ingwersen


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