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Why I Need Paid Sick Days

July 28, 2010
My name is Tasha West-Baker, I am 34 years old. I am a mother of three, my kids range in age from 15-10. I am a cashier at one of the largest grocery chains in the United States (Safeway); I have worked for this company for the past seven years, which in the grocery industry is a long time. Thanks to my union (UFCW21) I have good medical benefits and a pension. We are in negotiations right now to protect our health plan and secure that pension. However, one thing that my job still does not afford is the ability to access sick days when I am sick. While the logistics of how our sick time works...

Supporting Earned Sick Time is as Easy as 1-2-3: Public Health, Smart Business, and Economic Security

July 28, 2010
(Looking for a fourth reason? It’s good for you and your family.) We can all agree that when people are sick, the best place for them to be is home or in the hospital in order to get the care they need and prevent the spread of illness. But in Pennsylvania, 46 percent of all workers have no access to earned sick time. So if they or their family members get sick, they are stuck in a no-win situation: work sick, or stay home and lose their pay (or their jobs). 1. Public Health : H1N1 (swine flu) is an example of what earned sick time is so important. The CDC and others pointed out that if...

In Talking About Paid Sick Days, The Bottom Line

July 28, 2010
In the advocacy world, talking points to support paid sick days have been developed to fit every constituency: To appeal to working parents, labor and women’s advocates, you might highlight the fact that paid sick days are a modern necessity in a society where many families have both parents in the workforce – and the majority (71%) of all women with dependent children under the age of 18 are in the labor force; To appeal to policymakers sympathetic to health and children’s issues, you might frame your discussion around the fact that children experience better short- and long-term health...

Sick in the City: Paid Sick Time and a Healthy Business Climate

July 28, 2010
We need federal legislation like the Healthy Families Act to guarantee paid sick time to all working Americans. But it’s possible to make significant progress even when Congress is slow to act. States and cities across the nation can take action independently to ensure that their own residents can access this critical workplace benefit. These local efforts build momentum and help to illustrate the widespread benefits of guaranteeing paid sick time. After all, the first paid sick time law in the United States was enacted at the city level in San Francisco. And San Francisco’s successful...

Need for Paid Sick Days Never Takes a Holiday

July 28, 2010
It’s summer -- a time for neighborhood barbeques, family road trips, lazy and hazy days. Summer fun is an American tradition, reminding us that we all occasionally need a break from the stresses and challenges of our lives. Summer is a perfect time to remind ourselves that low-wage working women occasionally need time too; the time to care for ourselves and our families. Now’s the time to take action for paid sick days for all workers: to contact our Senators and remind them that, for the sake of our families, our nation’s public health and family economic security, we must ensure that all...
Linda Meric's picture

First They Ignore You...

July 28, 2010
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” -Mahatma Gandhi It wasn’t long ago that paid sick days didn’t register even a blip on the political radar. Outside the offices of a few dedicated policy wonks, it was virtually a non-issue. The problem was already there, of course. For millions of American workers and their families, missing much-needed pay, or even losing a job, could be as easing as catching the flu or needing to take a child to the doctor. But no one was proposing a solution. Today in Connecticut, things are a little different. Outside the...

Even Supermoms Can't Fight All Germs: Personal and Political Stories for Paid Sick Days

July 28, 2010
Welcome to the MomsRising.org blog carnival on paid sick days! We've invited advocates, moms, and workers (and many contributers wear all three hats) to contribute their unique voices to this dynamic national conversation about the urgent need for for everyone to be able to earn paid sick days. This blog carnival pulls together dozens of stories, new explorations relating to paid sick days, and links to great pieces on the topic from across the web to make it easy for our readers to learn about the issue and to share your own perspectives and experiences in the blog comments. Why should you...
Kristin's picture

Who's Joining Unions Today? Hint: It's Not the White Guys

July 20, 2010
Back in the day, the average American thought of unions as mainly involving white guys who work in factories, pull down enough income to support a wife at home raising children, have two cars and a house in the suburbs, and look forward to a comfortable retirement at the end of the road. That stereotype was always inaccurate, as it ignored the fact that most unions have and do struggle to represent the rights of relatively powerless workers. And that myth is, if anything, more exaggerated in the media today due to the current battle between the wealthy owners of the National Football League...
Robert Drago's picture

New Report: Americans Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

June 21, 2010
The results of a new poll show that while paid sick days is an employment benefit many Americans believe should be ensured by the government as a "basic labor standard," too many are going without. In fact, according to the survey sponsored by Washington DC's Public Welfare Foundation and conducted through the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center (NORC), 86 percent of respondents support a plan that would allow workers to earn up to seven paid sick days per year. It's astounding - and more than ironic - that in a seemingly health-consumed society, where every other person...

Who Needs More Women in Government? Dads.

June 17, 2010
As the first-time mother of an 8-month-old, I’m often concerned with making the world better for my daughter as she grows up. But every day, I also realize that I’m not in this struggle alone. Not only are there millions of moms out there trying to figure out how to balance work, a personal life, and a child (or three)— there are also millions of fathers that now have to face the same challenges. According to CAWP , Elected women are working to make the agenda of legislative institutions more reflective of women's concerns stemming from their roles as caregivers in the family and in society...

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