Webinar | Building the Business Case for State Paid Family Leave: Lessons from Advocacy and Implementation


Outreach to Business Leaders on Paid Family Leave  

March 27, 2024

Paid family leave is one of the most impactful, yet cost-effective, policies a state can adopt to support infants, toddlers, and their families. Despite the strength of these impacts, it can be challenging to garner support from businesses. 

In this webinar, you will learn about how statewide paid leave programs impact businesses. We discussed commonly raised concerns from businesses, and panelists shared strategies to alleviate business community concerns in policy development and implementation. Panelists also spoke to successful messaging and coalition-building efforts with the business community.

Webinar Recording

Presentation Materials

Related Resources

Featured Speakers

(in alphabetical order)

Erin O’Brien Choquette

Chief Executive Officer, Connecticut Paid Leave Authority

Prior to joining the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority, Choquette worked at the Department of Administrative Services for 14 years in various roles—including directing the agency’s legislative and general legal functions. Choquette received her JD from the Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. She received a B.A., in cursu honoris cum laude, from the College of the Holy Cross.

Mel Koe

Campaign Strategist/Senior Manager, Main Street Alliance

Koe serves as the Campaigns Strategist, Senior Manager on Main Street Alliance’s Organizing team. As the primary small business organizer on Minnesota’s paid leave campaign, Koe organized alongside small business leaders impacted by paid leave (or rather, the lack of it). Koe is based in Saint Paul, MN where they live with their partner and two cats.


Cynthia Osborne, PhD

Executive Director and Founder, Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center, Vanderbilt University
Osborne is an appointed member of the National Academies of Sciences Committee to Reduce Child Poverty by Half in Ten Years. Osborne has extensive experience leading long-term evaluations of state and national programs, with the aim of helping organizations understand what works, and how to ensure sustainable implementation of effective policies.


Sonal Patel, MD

Founder, NayaCare

Patel is a pediatrician, neonatologist, and breastfeeding specialist whose education has been centered on infant nutrition with its impact on development and maternal wellbeing in the 4th trimester. Patel founded NayaCare in 2018, a home health clinic focused on improving postpartum care, and has written several articles on the subject published in Scary Mommy, Kevin MD, and Colorado Sun. Patel’s first book, The Doctor and Her Black Bag, examines maternal mortality in historical and personal context and solutions to reduce maternal mortality. Patel is a TEDx speaker: The Economics of the 4th Trimester. Patel has co-created a breastfeeding toolkit helping mothers of premature babies achieve their breastfeeding goals: Small Steps, BIG Gains. Since 2018, Patel has been a member of Good Business Colorado, a nonprofit helping small businesses have a voice in policy. Patel lent her voice to passing FAMLI, paid family and medical leave in Colorado.

Shawn Phetteplace

Director of Policy and Political Impact (PPI), Main Street Alliance

Phetteplace’s role is focused on leading the PPI team, the production of policy reports and educational webinars, relationship building with decision-makers, the creation of member engagement products, and management of the elected leader and strategy circle programs. Before joining the Main Street Alliance, Phetteplace worked for two members of Congress, led teams in many candidate campaigns, and has been especially focused on shaping health policy at the state and federal levels. He lives in Fitchburg (near Madison), WI with his wife and son.


In a newly published essay, Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center Executive Director Dr. Cynthia Osborne outlines the five stages of public policy implementation—and the research critical for each stage. The essay draws from a rich history
Did you know state policies play an important role in reducing child maltreatment? Rapid neurological development makes children especially susceptible to harmful stressors, such as maltreatment, during the prenatal-to-3 period. Though we may expect prevention
Just like that, we find ourselves 3 months into the 2024 legislative sessions! In this month’s post, we cover legislative trends in five prenatal-to-3 policy areas we’re tracking across multiple states. Some efforts are near