After her open letter to US politicians, Meghan Markle is coming forward to support other organisations campaigning to push for paid family leave in the United States. The Duchess recently donated £18 for the employees of one such company to buy "a few cups of coffee" as they work overtime for the cause.
Archewell, the charitable initiative of Meghan and her husband Prince Harry, gifted a $25 Starbucks voucher to each worker at PL+US, a group running a national campaign to win paid family and medical leave by 2022. "Hi there, Just a little something to keep you going. Thank you for all that you do," read the voucher signed off by Archewell.
Neil Sroka, the director of communications for the group, took to Twitter to reveal Meghan's support writing, "The Duchess of Sussex (aka #MeghanMarkle) bought everyone at @PaidLeaveUS a few cups of coffee while we're working overtime to #SavePaidLeave."
"Unbelievably classy... and necessary. Truly honored to know she has our backs in the fight to win," he added in the tweet.
Sroka posted another tweet after a few hours to respond to the Twitter users who said the donation from the millionaire couple was "pitiful" and a publicity stunt. He explained, "This tweet has received a stunning amount of coverage, so I'll clarify: the Duchess/Archewell gave EACH of our staffers $25 for (coffee emoji). Maybe that doesn't mean much to some, but for our team fighting to #SavePaidLeave it was a delightful surprise. Thank you #MeghanMarkle."
The donation for coffee came soon after it was reported that President Joe Biden's administration dropped paid family leave from their $1.75 trillion "Build Back Better" plan. The US is among a handful of nations that do not guarantee paid sick leave or maternity or paternity pay. Under current law, workers can take up to 12 weeks off from their job following the birth of a child or to deal with a family emergency without risk of being fired, but they are not automatically paid during this time period.
Meghan had written a detailed 1,030-word letter about the matter to the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and the Majority Leader in the US Senate Chuck Schumer last month. The letter, which sparked controversy for numerous reasons, read, "I'm not an elected official, and I'm not a politician. I am, like many, an engaged citizen and a parent...I'm writing to you at this deeply important time – as a mom – to advocate for paid leave."