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It's time for basic labor protections for domestic workers!

April 24, 2013
My name is Luz Amelia Arevalo, I am a professional domestic worker in Los Angeles California. Because of economic necessity, my own family -- my own grandchildren -- are far away. I care for the children of my employers, and I grow to love them as I do my own grandchildren. There are many women like me, whose work makes it possible for so many families to thrive in California. But we do the work we do without basic labor protections and certainly without paid sick days. Over the years, I have been sick and hurt and had to work anyway. As a domestic worker, if you don’t work, you don’t get...
Luz Amelia Arevalo's picture

Confessions of a Recovered Waitress

April 24, 2013
The year after I graduated from college I waited tables and worked in retail, just like my parents always wanted. Kidding! Truth be told, I had always envisioned going to law school but hesitated once it came time to send in a deposit. I hadn’t given much thought to the other options I had, and the commitment of so much time and money made me think twice. So after graduating Phi Beta Kappa, I donned an apron and slip-resistant shoes and got down to work. I learned a great deal over the next few months working at a restaurant. My coworkers had mostly grown up in the area and still carried...
Madeline Shepherd's picture

Against Earned Sick Days? Try Waiting Tables With Torn Tendons In Your Leg

April 24, 2013
For nearly a year, Ariel Kempf was a server at a very busy breakfast and lunch café in Portland when, one day, while playing with her dog on the beach, she tore several tendons in her right leg. She had no health insurance, so she went to an urgent-care clinic where she was told she couldn’t put pressure on her leg for at least ten days and that it might take up to six weeks to heal. She had no sick days. Without delay, she called her coworkers who agreed to cover her next few shifts. She hoped to return in a week or so. But when the busy weekend came around and nobody was available to cover...
Tara Murphy's picture

Paid Sick Days Movement On the Move

April 24, 2013
This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post . Patricia, a home health care aide and 9to5 member from Colorado, attended to a man who is quadriplegic. When Patricia came down with food poisoning, her life unraveled. Her condition progressed to pneumonia caused from the vomit that spilled into her lungs. When her temperature spiked to 104 degrees, she took three days of unpaid leave -- equivalent to a week’s worth of her earnings. After three days, still weak and unable to lift her 170 pound patient, Patricia called in sick for one more day. She was fired. And with the loss of her...
Linda Meric's picture

Local Florida Officials Say No Attacks on Local Control

April 24, 2013
This article originally appeared in Family Values @ Work . Home rule – guaranteed under the Florida state constitution — is a cherished conservative principle. It ensures the right of the people to determine and implement a public purpose at the grassroots level. So when is home rule not okay with conservative politicians connected to the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC? Apparently, when local elected officials or voters stand with working families rather than corporate lobbyists. Local elected officials in Miami, Central Florida and Tallahassee rallied April 16 to oppose...
Ellen Bravo's picture

Why Giving My Direct Care Workers Paid Time Off is a Good Investment

April 24, 2013
This blog post originally appeared in Direct Care Alliance, Inc. . I’m the president and CEO of Catalina In-Home Services in Tucson, Arizona. We offer personal care and support services. Our clients are all private pay. We have about 65 caregivers, who we call professional direct care workers. They all have formal training, and the majority are certified nursing assistants. When I started the company in 1981, I felt very strongly that we were going to have to offer benefits if we were going to be able to be competitive in terms of being able to recruit and retain the best. So we have always...
Judy Clinco's picture

Why My Husband Wishes I’d Choose a Different Profession

April 24, 2013
This blog post originally appeared in Direct Care Alliance . I have been a direct care worker for about 10 years. I truly believe we make a difference in the lives of elders and the sick. I love my work and I get paid well for it, but I don’t get paid sick time or paid holidays. I came here from Germany when I was 25. I didn’t speak any English. I was married to a military man, who brought me here. At first, I just took care of my husband and my house. I volunteered at a thrift shop just to get out, but I was very shy and always worried that I would say the wrong thing. Then I got divorced...
Gabriele Swe's picture

Immigrant Issues are Women's Issues

April 10, 2013
Photo by Cindia Cameron, 9to5 Immigrants come to the U. S. today for the same reason immigrants have always come here – for the promise of freedom and a better life that is America. We have built our country on the belief that we achieve greatness as a nation when all of us have a fair chance at the American dream. Immigrant issues are women’s issues because we need the same things to achieve that dream – decent jobs, the ability to care for our families, security, opportunity, and justice. But our nation’s immigration system is broken. Immigrants often live in the shadows of our economy and...
Linda Meric's picture

The Real Value of In-Home Care Work in the United States

April 10, 2013
This article originally appeared in the Institute for Women's Policy Research . Baby Boomers, estimated at nearly 80 million in the United States, began turning 65 in 2011.By 2020, the population of older adults is expected to grow to 55 million from 40.4 million in 2010. As more women enter the labor force and fewer are able to care for older family members, providing in-home care to the growing aging population, as well as the disabled and chronically ill, is becoming more critical to a robust U.S. economy. A new briefing paper by IWPR, “Women and the Care Crisis: Valuing In-Home Care in...
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A Head on Desk Moment: A MomsRising Blog Carnival on Equal Pay

April 9, 2013
I’m having a head/desk day. You know the kind; where you just want to bang your head on your desk because you’re so frustrated. Why? Because today is Equal Pay Day – the day that marks how far into 2013 women have to work to earn what men earned for the same work in 2012. And at the rate we're going, left alone, the wage gap won't close until 2057 -- that's 45 years from now (my head and desk can't take that many more head desk days). It’s time for this to change, and MOMentum is on our side. President Obama addressed the need for fair pay policies in both his inauguration speech and at the...
Ruth Martin's picture

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