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Children Pay the Price When Parents Don’t Have Paid Sick Days

April 24, 2013
The role of a registered professional school nurse is not only to provide for the safety and care of students, faculty, and staff, but also to support student academic achievement by addressing the physical, mental, emotional, and social health needs of their entire family. For the children of parents without paid sick days, being a successful student is not easy. These parents are forced to make a difficult choice every time they get sick: stay home to recover or go to work sick in order to pay their bills. Given this choice, many workers feel compelled to work sick, compromising their own...
Elizabeth Chau's picture

Local Florida Officials Say No Attacks on Local Control

April 24, 2013
This article originally appeared in Family Values @ Work . Home rule – guaranteed under the Florida state constitution — is a cherished conservative principle. It ensures the right of the people to determine and implement a public purpose at the grassroots level. So when is home rule not okay with conservative politicians connected to the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC? Apparently, when local elected officials or voters stand with working families rather than corporate lobbyists. Local elected officials in Miami, Central Florida and Tallahassee rallied April 16 to oppose...
Ellen Bravo's picture

Picking up the pieces after a bill dies

April 24, 2013
Editor's Note: Melissa Broome, senior policy advocate at the Job Opportunities Task Force and founding member of Working Matters , recounts what it was like to watch paid sick leave legislation fail during the 2013 session of the Maryland General Assembly. Thankfully, Melissa and her coalition partners will be back again next year. This blog post originally appeared in Job Opportunities Task Force . There’s a well-known understanding in our state capitol that important bills rarely – if ever – pass in the first year. I recognize that last month’s unfavorable outcome for the Earned Sick and...
Melissa Broome's picture

Paid Sick Days Get Traction and Real MOMentum

April 24, 2013
The MOMentum around paid sick days is huge: in the month of March alone, supporters moved the dial in three of America’s biggest cities. Campaigns around the nation are reaching out to businesses to join in the effort. The progress in March is notable. In Philadelphia the City Council once again approved a measure; while the Mayor again vetoed the bill, the Council has made it clear the issue will not go away. In Portland a new sick days has been enacted and in New York the City Council agreed to a deal that will become law – even if the Mayor vetoes the measure, the Council will override it...
Jodie Levin-Epstein's picture

Why Giving My Direct Care Workers Paid Time Off is a Good Investment

April 24, 2013
This blog post originally appeared in Direct Care Alliance, Inc. . I’m the president and CEO of Catalina In-Home Services in Tucson, Arizona. We offer personal care and support services. Our clients are all private pay. We have about 65 caregivers, who we call professional direct care workers. They all have formal training, and the majority are certified nursing assistants. When I started the company in 1981, I felt very strongly that we were going to have to offer benefits if we were going to be able to be competitive in terms of being able to recruit and retain the best. So we have always...
Judy Clinco's picture

Why My Husband Wishes I’d Choose a Different Profession

April 24, 2013
This blog post originally appeared in Direct Care Alliance . I have been a direct care worker for about 10 years. I truly believe we make a difference in the lives of elders and the sick. I love my work and I get paid well for it, but I don’t get paid sick time or paid holidays. I came here from Germany when I was 25. I didn’t speak any English. I was married to a military man, who brought me here. At first, I just took care of my husband and my house. I volunteered at a thrift shop just to get out, but I was very shy and always worried that I would say the wrong thing. Then I got divorced...
Gabriele Swe's picture

Tell Congress: Don't waste time putting lipstick on a pig!

April 7, 2013
One of my preschooler’s favorite jokes: What do you get when you put lipstick on a pig? Answer: A pig. Why do I bring this up? Because right now, some members of Congress are trying to put lipstick on a pig: They’re introducing a bill called the “Working Families Flexibility Act,” a "comp time" bill which certainly sounds good, but in reality is anything but. If passed this bill would mean a pay cut for workers and less – not more – workplace flexibility. What the what? It’s true. Despite the name, the comp time proposal is neither family friendly or flexible. What it would do is weaken a 75-...
Ruth Martin's picture

HERVotes on protecting families from the "Ryan budget": A blog carnival

March 19, 2013
Tomorrow the House of Representatives will vote on the Ryan Budget. It is devastating to women’s advancement and to programs that women want and need. It is the budget that women overwhelming voted against in the 2012 election with a decisive gender gap. HERvotes , with its 52 women’s organizations, is urging a NO vote. The Ryan Budget would repeal all of the benefits in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) while it keeps the cost savings -- a hypocritical slight of hand. And women would pay dearly. Health insurance companies could once again treat women as a “pre-existing condition” and...
Eleanor Smeal's picture

4 Things Sheryl Sandberg Gets Right (and Wrong) in "Lean In"

March 15, 2013
I refused to be one of those people who criticized – or even commented too much – on Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead , until I’d read it. Since my week included client crises, a non-profit board meeting, tap and drum lessons and oh yes, recovering from the hour we lost to Daylight Savings Time, I didn’t even pull it up on my iPad until late Thursday. I was pleasantly surprised to find many things I agreed with, yet often in the next paragraph I’d find something very wrong. Here are four of those Right/Wrong pairs. 1. RIGHT: Subconscious bias is at the...
Kristin Maschka's picture

Dying For Work?

March 13, 2013
Last July, Felix Trinidad died after working for months with cancer . He wasn’t able to earn paid sick days and he was so worried about losing pay or possibly even his job – and his ability to support his wife and two small children – that he put off going to the doctor until it was too late: His cancer was so advanced that there was no chance of recovery. Felix is far from alone. In the United States, nearly 40% of private sector workers, including 80% of low-wage workers, are unable to earn even a single paid sick day to care for themselves or a sick family member. This is not okay. We can...
Ruth Martin's picture