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Disciplined at work for caring for my sick child: Why retail work needs a makeover!

October 10, 2012
My name is Tamara Green, and I’m a single mother of two from Bed Stuy in Brooklyn. For two years, I was a top salesperson at Estee Lauder’s Aveda store in Grand Central Station. I was just forced to quit because my hours had gotten cut to just 10 hours a week – My last week, I was only scheduled for 4 hours. Here I was, selling $90 shampoo and $35 hand lotion, but getting paychecks that made providing for my family impossible. I needed to work full time and asked for more hours all the time. But because I was considered part-time, my hours and paycheck fluctuated all time. My youngest...
Tamara Green's picture

R U 4 Paid Sick Days?

October 1, 2012
This week, workers all across the country will be tweeting that question to candidates for office at all levels, asking them to support this basic workplace standard or explain why they will not. At a time when more than 40 million hardworking Americans can't earn any paid sick time to use when they get stomach flu or need a medical test -- and millions more can't earn paid sick time to care for an ailing child -- it's a question we all need answered. Right now in the United States, more than 40 percent of the private sector workforce -- and more than 80 percent of low-wage workers -- cannot...
Debra Ness's picture

A Sad Day and a Hopeful Lesson in Orange County

September 19, 2012
Late yesterday, it became disappointingly clear that voters in Orange County will not see a proposal for earned sick time on their ballots in November. Despite the will of at least 46,000 Orange County voters and a broad coalition of workers, businesses and advocates who played by the rules, Mayor Teresa Jacobs and county commissioners ignored their duties and caved to special interests to keep citizens from being able to vote. This is the most blatant example I’ve seen of moneyed special interests using their clout to subvert the purest tool of citizen democracy: the right of citizens to...
National Partnership for Women and Families's picture

This is NOT what democracy looks like!

September 14, 2012
I am so mad right now I can barely sit down to type this. At this moment I’m home from work with a sick baby. She spiked a fever in the middle of the night, woke up crying and hot with a fever over 101 degrees. She can’t go to childcare today. I’m home with her, writing this while she naps (fitfully, I might add - it’s clear my baby girl is uncomfortable ) and I’m able to be at home with her right now because I have earned sick days. I didn’t have to load her up with Tylenol and send her to childcare and go to work, fingers crossed she’d make it through the day – because if I didn’t send her...
Ruth Martin's picture

A Story of Deliberate Disregard for Democracy in Orange County

September 14, 2012
What is going on in Orange County, Florida? For anyone paying attention to the effort to establish an earned sick day standard in the Sunshine State, this is a legitimate question. The events of the past few days have been confusing at best – and, quite simply, they defy reason and threaten to subvert democracy. Let’s recap: First, more than 43,000 Orange County voters pledged their support for putting an earned sick days proposal on the November 6th ballot. Soon after, that petition was certified – officially qualifying the measure for the November ballot. In accordance with the county...
National Partnership for Women and Families's picture

Warehouse Workers Marching for Their Families

September 13, 2012
It’s no secret that Walmart is the largest employer in the country, diligently working to create a softer image of itself to consumers, environmentalists and others. What most consumers don’t know is that Walmart contracted warehouses across the country make it a common practice to put profits over people; they allow working women and men to toil in containers that can reach 120 degrees. Water breaks are rare. They routinely steal the hard-earned wages of their workers, and even lie to American judges when their practices are called into question. But what is arguably most disturbing is...
Paco Fabian's picture

IWPR Recommends Thorough Assessment of DC’s Paid Sick Leave Law

September 5, 2012
In honor of Labor Day and the 44 million workers around the country who lack paid sick leave, IWPR released a briefing paper that recommends the Auditor of the District of Columbia conduct a thorough and complete review that shows the impact of the city’s paid sick leave policy. In March 2008, the District of Columbia joined San Francisco to become only the second jurisdiction in the United States to pass a paid sick days law. Reviewing the law for the breadth of its impact on businesses, workers, and the economy, is important as legislation moves forward in other parts of the country. Since...
Caroline Dobuzinskis's picture

The GOPs Mixed Message to Mom

September 4, 2012
Mitt Romney (Photo credit: NewsHour) The Republican National Convention concluded last week after Mitt Romney accepted his party’s nomination and not before Republicans made a desperate attempt to court women voters. The convention featured an impressive lineup of female speakers including former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and of course, Ann Romney who talked about mothers saying, “You are the best of America. You are the hope of America. Tonight we salute you and sing your praises.” Romney himself mentioned the...
Liz O Donnell's picture

New Yorkers Deserve Paid Sick Time

August 30, 2012
For more than a million New Yorkers — mostly Black, Latino and immigrant workers — getting sick can mean losing a paycheck or, in some cases, a job . The City Council has proposed a law that would allow New Yorkers at least five paid sick days a year , but Speaker Christine Quinn is keeping the ordinance from passing. Although a veto-proof majority of her colleagues support the bill , Speaker Quinn has refused to allow a vote. She is considering a run for mayor next year and doesn't want to upset the city's business elite . It's shameful. Please join us in calling on Speaker Quinn to provide...
Rashad Robinson's picture

For Parents Without Paid Sick Days, Back-to-School Season Brings Stress and Uncertainty

August 29, 2012
Back to school means a lot of things. In some families, it means shopping for school supplies, helping kids become reacquainted with their alarm clocks, and learning new school bus schedules. But for the millions of employed parents in jobs that don’t let them earn paid sick days, it means another set of worries: uncertainty about what to do if a child gets sick. For those parents, a child with a sore throat or the flu can mean an impossible choice between sending a sick child to school, leaving a sick child home alone, or losing pay and risking a job by staying home to provide care. And with...
Debra Ness's picture