Press Release

State Leaders and Community Members Celebrate 10th Anniversary of Paid Family Leave in Rhode Island

Last updated: December 08, 2023

State Leaders and Community Members Celebrate 10th Anniversary of Paid Family Leave in Rhode Island

RI Paid Leave Coalition honors leaders of the paid family leave legislation

Thursday, June 1, 2023

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — House Majority Leader Blazejewski (District 2), State Senator Valerie Lawson (District 14), Matthew Weldon, Director of Rhode Island Department of Labor & Training, Dr. Beth Toolan, Providence Community Health Center and American Academy of Pediatrics - RI Chapter, Weayonnoh Nelson-Davies, Executive Director of The Economic Progress Institute, and the RI Paid Leave Coalition celebrated the 10th anniversary of Rhode Island’s landmark family paid leave legislation, which was passed in 2013. 

"For ten years paid family leave has been a critical resource for Rhode Islanders to care for loved ones without worrying about losing their job," said Weayonnoh Nelson-Davies, Executive Director of The Economic Progress Institute. "Today we celebrate the landmark legislation and the vision of Gayle Goldin, Edith Ajello, Elaine Coderre, advocates, and organizations like SEIU 1199NE, Women's Fund of Rhode Island, and Rhode Island Parent Information Network (RIPIN) that made today's celebration possible. I look forward to expanding this opportunity so that more Rhode Islanders can care for and support their families." 

Rhode Island’s paid family leave program, also known as Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI), is part of Rhode Island’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) system. TCI allows most Rhode Island workers to take off up to six weeks per year of paid time off with partial wage replacement to care for a loved one and protect their job. Paid family leave does not use resources from the state or employers and is funded through employee payroll deductions. Paid family leave helps workers afford to take time off from work to care for a new child or ailing family member. 

“RIPIN is an organization of peers—we are parents and caregivers of the young, the medically fragile, those with social-emotional and behavioral challenges, rare diseases, and more," said Sam Salganik, Executive Director of RIPIN. "Access to temporary caregiver insurance is not just a matter of financial support, but an essential pillar of inclusivity. It allows caregivers to focus on what matters most—the well-being, safety, and comfort of our loved ones, instead of how we are going to work and provide care. Thanks to temporary caregiver insurance, caregivers can confidently step in to provide the necessary assistance and care when needed, allowing individuals with disabilities to thrive and families to find respite. Rhode Island has been a leader in providing TCI in the past and we must be again.“ 

Rhode Island was the first state in the nation to pass paid family leave legislation. Since 2013, nine states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation allowing twelve weeks of paid family leave. 

“We are thrilled to celebrate this major 10 year milestone with policymakers, advocates, and families. As of the end of 2022, Rhode Island’s TCI program has helped 43,753 parents take time off from work to care for and bond with newborns and newly adopted or foster children. This program is a proven investment in the health and well-being of babies and children," said Leanne Barrett, coordinator of the RIght from the Start Campaign, a statewide coalition led by 8 organizations working to advance state policies that help get babies and young children off to the right start." 

The RI Paid Leave Coalition recognized the elected leaders, advocates, and community organizations that led the way on passing the country’s first paid family leave bill in 2013. Recognized for their contributions to Rhode Island’s leadership in paid family leave were: SEIU 1199 NE, Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, Rhode Island Parent Information Network (RIPIN), Adoption Rhode Island, Department of Labor and Training, and Representative Edith H. Ajello. 

To learn more about paid family leave or the RI Paid Leave Coalition visit

The Economic Progress Institute is a non-partisan research and policy organization that works to ensure the economic security of low- and modest-income Rhode Islanders. To learn more about The Economic Progress Institute, visit


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