In the Oct. 13 Democratic presidential debate, the party's front-runner, Hillary Clinton, was interrupted with applause only once during her opening statement, when she said, "I believe in equal pay for equal work for women, but I also believe it's about time we had paid family leave for American families and join the rest of the world."

And so an issue that has slowly been growing in importance joined foreign policy, immigration, taxes, and climate change as a top issue for the 2016 presidential campaign. Employers, HR professionals, and certainly workers have been talking about paid family leave for years, but seldom has the concept had such a public hearing.

Clinton isn't the only one to say that paid family leave should be a campaign issue for the 2016 presidential election. At the debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said the lack of a paid family leave policy was a national embarrassment for the U.S. "We should not be the only major country that does not provide medical and …  family and parental leave to all of our families," he said.

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