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Changing the World One Mother at a Time

September 20, 2010
I am a mother. I am lots of other things but as society continues to discount and undervalue this role, it is easy to get frustrated and not claim it as loudly as I should. The world talks about how important mothers are. Yet often mothers are the last ones on the list to be asked for their opinion about the issues that affect them. The blogging and social media revolution is turning that around as the mothers who blog morph into a powerful global force. I have been privileged to be asked by the UN Foundation to participate in a conversation we have called, "Changing the World, One Mother At...

Work-Family Policies Must Include Grandparents

September 12, 2010
Grandparents are the glue that holds many families together—yet our workplace laws don’t honor their critical role. Grandparents play a more vital role than ever in building strong families and caring for our nation’s children. In addition to providing emotional and financial support, millions of grandparents act as primary caregivers for their grandchildren — a number that has increased since the start of the recession. And millions of younger workers care for aging or ill grandparents. Grandparents and grandchildren need workplace policies that help them meet their work and family...

Be careful not to sit on the fence with paid sick days

August 26, 2010
Council Speaker Quinn’s measured approach to paid sick days is wearing thin to the point of transparency, and it may well cost her politically. By holding up a vote until opponents of the bill can produce a piece of unsound research, Quinn is showing too much concern for the sentiments of a constituency that doesn’t have a leg to stand on in the debate: the city’s powerful and well-heeled business groups, such as the Partnership for New York City and the five boroughs’ Chambers of Commerce. Speaker Quinn should be careful about going out of her way not to offend those interests on this issue...

Campaign for Paid Sick Time in New York City marches on

August 26, 2010
Councilwoman Gale Brewer introduced a groundbreaking bill last year intended to provide mandatory paid sick leave to New York City workers. In response to concerns put forth by the business community, a newly revised version of the bill was introduced on March 25, 2010. The new 2010 version of the bill is co-sponsored by 35 (out of 51) Councilmembers. Like its predecessor, the 2010 version of the bill would allow workers to earn one hour of sick leave for every thirty hours worked - up to 9 sick days per year (up to 5 sick days per year for small business employees.) However, the new version...

NYC Paid Sick Leave rally draws crowds, opposition and Gloria Steinem

August 26, 2010
A crowded rally was held Tuesday on the steps of City Hall in support of a paid sick leave bill currently pending before the City Council . The pending legislation was introduced in August by Councilwoman, Gale Brewer. The rally, scheduled to begin at 12 noon, drew such a crowd that by 12:15 security guards were turning people away at the gates in front of City Hall. One famous supporter of the bill, Gloria Steinem, addressed the crowd: Our great five boroughs are way behind every modern democracy . . . in having no paid sick leave. Women are asking Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Christine Quinn...

Imagining a World With #PaidSickDays

August 26, 2010
There are many areas of life in this country where it appears that we live in two worlds. And that’s no different when we consider paid sick days. In the first world, if you’re sick, you stay home from work, take care of yourself, and have the time to get better. In the second world, if you’re sick, you go to work anyway. In the second world, you go to work, even when your child is sick. You know that if you stay home, you’ll lose pay -- or maybe even your job. As we approach Women’s Equality Day on Aug. 26, the day that marks the 90th anniversary of women’s right to vote, it’s troubling that...
Linda Meric's picture

No Reason to Wait on Paid Sick Leave

August 26, 2010
Despite having a veto-proof number of supporters in the City Council, a bill that would guarantee workers the right to earn paid sick leave is being stalled by the business community. This is not particularly surprising, given that businesses have generally fought against raising workplace standards throughout our history. Not surprising, perhaps, but frustrating given the vast field of research that shows paid sick leave does not negatively impact businesses (in fact, there are concrete benefits for businesses). Even more frustrating is that New York City’s bill, which has the overwhelming...

Latest news and plans for the NYC #paidsickdays campaign

August 26, 2010
In the spring of 2007 the NYS Paid Leave Coalition and A Better Balance began meeting with Speaker Christine Quinn’s staff to determine if the City Council had the authority to establish a law to require private sector employers to provide paid sick days to their employees. After the initial meetings when it became evident this was a task for the lawyers, Sherry Leiwant championed the cause for the advocates by researching all questions and knocking down every obstacle the Speaker’s lawyers put before her. The city lawyers dragged out this process for a year and a half until they reluctantly...

Why should you care about mandatory #paidsickleave?

August 26, 2010
It is estimated that about one-half of full-time private sector American workers do not have paid sick leave benefits. If you are in the other one-half that do, congratulations . . . to you and your employer. However, it might interest you to know that your favorite restaurant employee, retail clerk and the employee caring for your elderly parent at the assisted living facility probably do not have such benefits. In other words, these workers have every incentive to come to work, prepare and serve your food, handle your merchandise and care for your elderly parent, even while sick...

Working to Improve the Workplace so Workers Can Care for Their Families

August 26, 2010
My name is Sherry Leiwant and I am Executive Director of A Better Balance: The Work and Family Legal Center. We are a legal advocacy organization working to improve the workplace so that workers can care for their families without sacrificing their economic security and we have focused heavily on paid leave as an important issue for women and families. Paid sick days is a national movement that began with the realization that there are millions of workers in the US who lack even one single day they can take off from work if they or a family member is sick. This is a worker’s rights issue, a...
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