Paid Leave Letter of Support – Sun Life

March 4, 2024

The Honorable Josh Shapiro, Governor of Pennsylvania
The Honorable Kim Ward, President Pro Tempore
The Honorable Joanna McClinton, Speaker of the House
The Honorable Joseph Pittman, Senate Majority Leader
The Honorable Matthew Bradford, House Majority Leader

Dear Governor Shapiro, President Pro Tempore Ward, Speaker McClinton, Leader Pittman and Leader Bradford:

You are each in a position to bring historic change to Pennsylvania by establishing a program that provides paid family and medical leave coverage to every worker in the Commonwealth. Passing House Bill 181 would expand access to paid leave for workers, allowing them the freedom to care for themselves or a loved one without the fear of losing all their income. As a leading insurer in the U.S. covering more than 50 million Americans, Sun Life is committed to broadening access to care and coverage for every worker in the country, including the 578,000 employees at the 3,200 Pennsylvania-based businesses we serve.

Paid family and medical leave can be a life-changing benefit, even if only taken once. Whether someone is welcoming a new child into their life, caring for a loved one, or recovering from their own sickness or injury, the experience can be overwhelming – especially if income is a concern. For many, taking unpaid leave is simply not an option, and trying to work at the same time as dealing with these situations becomes untenable, with personal and professional responsibilities ending up in competition.

Paid leave programs offer a pathway for people to continue supporting their families while keeping their jobs. Employers retain valued employees, and people return to work refreshed and ready to be productive.

As an employer, we’ve seen the positive impact of paid family and medical leave. Sun Life offers our employees one of the most generous paid leave programs in the country, allowing caregivers and those dealing with a health condition the time and support to address their needs. We offer 16 weeks of paid family leave, which covers caregiving and bonding with a new child (including adopted and foster children), plus an additional eight weeks of medical leave for birth parents – all at full pay. We also offer 16 weeks of paid medical leave at full pay for an employee’s own illness or injury, with additional leave available if needed. Our employees have expressed immense gratitude for the ability to take paid leave and have even shared their stories to show how it enabled them to be there for their families in times of need. Since launching our paid leave program five years ago, we have experienced extremely high talent retention and a culture of commitment that has proven substantially beneficial to both employees and our business.

We urge you to support House Bill 181. The legislation will create a state program, giving all employees access to paid family and medical leave, and includes a private option, providing the business community with flexibility as to how they wish to provide the benefit.

Please do not hesitate to contact our VP of Government Relations, James Slotnick, at if Sun Life can be helpful in getting this legislation over the finish line.

Thank you,
Dan Fishbein, MD
President, Sun Life U.S.