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Sen. Tom Harkin: Paid sick days stories "incredibly compelling"

August 18, 2010
On July 28th, MomsRising’s campaign director, Donna Norton, presented me with a collection of stories from MomsRising members in Iowa and across the country about the need for paid sick days. These stories are incredibly compelling. Donna presents Sen. Harkin the MomsRising members' PSD book I was particularly concerned by the story of an Iowa MomsRising member who works at a hospital that does not offer paid sick days. As a result, many workers are forced to come to work at the hospital when they are sick because they can’t afford to lose a day’s pay or put their jobs in jeopardy. This is...
Senator Tom Harkin's picture

5 Things Employers Should Know about Breastfeeding

August 11, 2010
Under health care reform, all employers are required by law to accommodate the needs of breastfeeding employees. But ignorance about breastfeeding still prevails in the workplace. Here are the basics that every employer should know. Please send it to your boss, your HR director, and anyone who is in a position to support women breastfeeding when they return to work.
Katrina Alcorn's picture

Paid Sick Days: a social justice and public health policy approach to reducing health disparities

August 10, 2010
A public health approach to reducing health disparities across economic lines involves looking for “upstream solutions.” By walking upstream and understanding why people are falling in the river in the first place, we can be more effective in saving lives than by focusing all our resources on pulling the drowning people out of the river downstream. Applying this “upstream” approach to the public’s health should involve examining social structures and policies that encourage or discourage individuals in complying with scientifically-based disease prevention guidelines. And one of the most...
Mary O's picture

The Benefits of Paid Sick Days are Understated

August 8, 2010
IWPR estimated the costs and benefits of paid sick days legislation currently under consideration in New York City. The analysis found the legislation would save around $11m annually due to a reduction in the spread of seasonal flu. That isn’t exactly chickenfeed for most New Yorkers, but the public health benefits associated with paid sick days are likely much higher. Let’s start with the H1N1 pandemic. According to the CDC, around 61 million Americanswere infected by H1N1 during the last year, and 274,000 individuals had to be hospitalized due to the outbreak. We estimate that during the...
Robert Drago's picture

Paid Sick Days: Thank you for Sharing your Stories!

August 7, 2010
Last week, MomsRising Campaign Director Donna Norton personally delivered to me a moving collection of stories from MomsRising members about the need for paid sick days. We discussed stories from Connecticut MomsRising members including: A single mom who works in childcare and only has three days of paid sick days to use to take care of herself and her young children when they are sick. As a result, she is forced to choose between paying the rent and having enough food in the house A mom who works in a hospital who has received final warnings from her employer for taking too many days off...

Paid sick days are a necessity

August 6, 2010
I am deeply touched and inspired by the stories submitted by Illinois residents regarding the need to ensure that all workers have access to paid sick leave. I could not agree more with the MomsRising Member who wrote, 'paid sick days are not a choice - they are a necessity.' Paid sick leave not only allows families to make medical decisions without concern for losing time on the job, it also gives much needed peace of mind to parents who already have so much to worry about. I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of the Healthy Families Act which addresses this serious public and family...
Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez's picture

Calling in Sick: Americans out of luck

August 6, 2010
Every mom knows the feeling of your stomach falling when you get a call at work that your child is sick. You’ve got to drop everything. The only worry in your mind is rushing to care for your child. The last thing you want to worry about is whether you will be reprimanded, lose pay, or even be fired for leaving work. Sadly, in America, this is a worry many families bear. Many in the American workforce know they can still pay their rent or utility bill if they call in sick, but for people living paycheck to paycheck, sometimes that isn’t an option. Not only do they lose a day’s pay, some...
Linda T. Sanchez's picture

Screw Work Life Balance: We Need Work Life Policy! Join the Movement at BlogHer

August 2, 2010
For over two years, The Four Hour Work Week has been a national bestseller. Why? Because most of us resent feeling tethered to our jobs, and we know we could still do great work even if we had the ability to control our schedules and factor family needs into our day. But workers are completely on their own to figure it out. Out of 168 nations , 163 have some form of paid maternity leave, leaving the United States in the company of Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland. Nice. We are grown ups who have home and work demands; what's wrong here? At the BlogHer Conference in NYC on August 7 at 1...

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...