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Dispatch from Louisville: A Salute to Labor & Labor’s Legislative Champions

July 30, 2010
Last weekend and earlier this week, I was in Louisville, Kentucky talking about paid sick days and economic security with both labor leaders and state legislators who champion issues important to workers. Advocates who lead paid sick days campaigns routinely praise organized labor’s hard work on these issues—and it is obvious why. I had the honor of speaking to state labor leaders from all around the country—from Hawaii to Maine—at the AFL Workers’ Voice conference in Louisville. State labor federation leaders who work hand-in-hand with vibrant paid sick days campaigns in states like...

It’s Time to Flip the Script – Changing the Debate through the States

July 29, 2010
As we look forward to 2011, paid sick days campaigns in the states are reaching critical mass: since President Obama was elected, a majority of states have taken up the issue, with twenty-three legislatures introducing bills, and city campaigns moving in three other states. Several more states will introduce paid sick days bills in 2011, and the broader movement for work-family balance has even more steam when you count states that are advancing other family-friendly labor standards, such as paid family leave. We are now at a tipping point where we can change the national debate on paid sick...

Paid Sick Leave: Don’t Sneeze on Me!

July 29, 2010
Paid sick leave is sometimes described as a conflict between employers and employees, and it’s often framed as worker greed versus small business owner just trying to get by. But this issue is bigger than workers and employers. It’s also about families, colleagues and customers. Families need to be taken care of. If a primary caregiver is sick, going to work will prevent them from recovering as quickly as they could. If a child is sick, and cannot go to school, someone needs to care for them. Parents are left with few choices in those situations – if they are lucky, they have someone else who...

I’m Sick, I Have Insurance, But I Can’t Take Time Off From Work to See the Doctor!

July 29, 2010
Workers have always needed to care for their children, families and elderly relatives, and at the same time, be productive, responsible employees. For women, this breadth of responsibilities is felt with greater pressure, as women are more often the primary caregivers at home in addition to their paid outside employment. But today, when workplaces don’t provide the basic labor standard of paid sick days, the economic security of women and their families is at risk. Because childbearing and family care responsibilities lead to time out of the paid workforce, women are more likely to work in...

Moms On Capitol Hill NOW For Paid Sick Days!

July 28, 2010
Last month we asked MomsRising members like you to share your experiences with paid sick days - how having access to earned paid sick days has helped, or how NOT having them has hurt. The response was overwhelming! Moving story after moving story flowed into our offices. And now we're moving those personal stories around in places where they can make a difference. MomsRising super volunteers are in D.C. TODAY to hand deliver these stories from every state in the nation directly to members of Congress. These stories make the issue of paid sick days impossible to ignore. The human costs...
Ruth Martin's picture

The White House Talks, Is Congress Listening?

July 28, 2010
This year the White House, in cooperation with the Council on Women and Girls, hosted a conference on Workplace Flexibility. The conference came on the heels of a report by the Council of Economic Advisors on the benefits to employers of offering paid leave and flextime, official guidance on caregiving discrimination by the EEOC, and – perhaps most importantly – a $50 million line item in the FY2011 Department of Labor budget to create a State Paid Leave Fund to provide grants to states to establish paid leave programs. Advocates celebrated. And then we waited for Congress to act. We’re still...

Paid Leave Makes Horse Sense

July 28, 2010
Vacations are good for your health . And, you don’t need to get away to any fancy Caribbean retreat to get the benefit of time-off from work. But it helps if you are a horse. In New York City, that is. The City’s Health Department has proposed new rules for those horses hitched to carriages that carry tourists around parts of town. If implemented, the horses would get 5 weeks of job-protected vacation . During their time off, the horses would continue to enjoy their standard payment – room and board, along with grooming. It is a reasonable business decision to invest in these workers since...
Jodie Levin-Epstein's picture

Prescription for Preventive Health Care: Add Paid Sick Days

July 28, 2010
The Obama Administration’s recently announced regulations mandating health plans cover preventative care without charging co-pays to the consumer are a significant step forward, but they alone won’t ensure Americans get the preventive care they need. A critical component of preventative care is access. For individuals who have finite time off work and no paid sick days, accessing the preventative care that will keep them healthy is more easily said than done. Many can’t access care simply because they cannot afford to take time off of work. Eighty percent of low-income workers do not have...
Andrea Lindemann's picture

A case for paid sick days for N.H. workers

July 28, 2010
Paid sick days — it sounds like a good idea for employees, but it's also good for businesses. Healthy workers are essential to a strong economy and to business success. When workers are provided with paid sick time, they demonstrate increased job satisfaction, commitment and morale. Their employers reap the benefits of high performance and productivity. New Hampshire lawmakers are now considering HB 662, which would make it mandatory for businesses with 15 or more employees to offer three paid sick days. This is an amendment to the original bill which asked for five days in companies with 10...

When You Have Paid Sick Days, But are Punished for Using Them

July 28, 2010
The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) recently released a survey on paid sick days that has people talking. The survey shows that the vast majority of Americans support legislation requiring employers to provide paid sick days. Most people feel that paid sick days are a basic right – the same share as believe minimum wage and overtime laws are important. And they’re right – everybody should be able to take a day off when they’re sick, or when a family member is sick, and not have to worry about losing a paycheck or losing their job. It’s just common sense. As the leader of the Illinois...

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