Blog Post List
October 1, 2010
Licia Ronzulli, a member of the European Union's Parliament from Italy, with her baby. Licia Ronzulli, a member of the European Union's Parliament from Italy, sat poised and focused in her parliamentary seat. Her right hand raised in a vote, her left hand turning a page on her desk, and wrapped around her body, a newborn baby asleep in a sling. I'm a new mom too, and even though I work in a completely supportive environment, becoming a mom made me terrified for my career. For as many women as are now in the workplace, there are still relatively few successful models for new moms who want to...
April 13, 2010
"If we got even two calls from our constituents about this letter, that would make a huge impression on the Senator," a Senate staff person recently told us. She was referring to a letter circulating in the halls of the Senate that, if only a handful of Senators sign it, could have broad reaching and positive implications for the future of family leave programs in the U.S. Holy Paid Family Leave, Batgirl! Only two calls per Senator would make a difference!? Turns out your phone is more powerful than the batphone! Will you call your Senators' offices and ask them to sign on to this letter in...
April 2, 2010
"Many folks don't have access to any kind of family leave policies whatsoever, no flexible working arrangements, many people don't even have a paid sick day. So they are struggling…scrambling to make things work…As we all know, here today, it just doesn't have to be that way. It doesn't have to be that hard…" Sound familiar? No, it's not a quote from last week's email from MomsRising; it's First Lady Michelle Obama talking yesterday at a White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility. Yes! Brava! The policies that she lists in her speech are exactly what we all need to meet the demands of today's...
March 11, 2010
When Ashley's son started going to child care, he started bringing home more than macaroni art and cute little scribble pictures. He also brought home colds, the flu, pink eye, and a weird unidentifiable rash -- all things that meant Ashley needed to miss work to care for him. "I didn't realize that child care was such a petri dish! It's pretty ironic that my son goes to child care so I can work, but then he gets sick so often and I have to stay home with him anyhow (and then I get sick too)." Ashley explains. "It all starts with just one sick kid. I know that sick kids are coming to child...
November 10, 2009
MomsRising member Desiree with Senator Dodd before the hearing. Today a hearing on H1N1 and the need for paid sick days was held in the Subcommittee on Children and Families of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions. Currently, 57 million working people across the United States who do not have paid sick leave and are forced to go without pay if they or any of their children are sick. This is a serious problem for public health officials, who are trying to contain H1N1. Connecticut MomsRising Member Desiree Rosado was there to testify on behalf of MomsRising, and...
October 23, 2009
Many of us have had to decide whether to send a sick child to school (thinking maybe full of tylenol they might make it to the end of the day...) or taking a day off at work to stay home with them. But sometimes the hoops we jump through can get downright ridiculous. I spoke to a woman in Massachusetts who drives a school bus. When her son was sick, she did her regular routes and in between trips went miles out of the way (driving the whole big empty bus!) to check on her son at home. What's a parent to do? Hide your sick child under your desk? What have you had to do to balance work...
September 2, 2009
Wow. H1N1 is on moms' minds. Over 33,000 people signed on to the petition we sent around last week, agreeing that: "The United States needs to allow all working people to earn paid sick days to ensure our economic security, and protect public health." The leaders of our nation are working hard to prepare schools, parents, businesses, health professionals, and the entire country for this year's flu season and H1N1. But if families are forced to choose between paying their bills and showing up sick at work, the flu response plan will be on thin ice. Want a chance to tell our leaders, in your...
August 25, 2009
On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released a statement calling on schools to "ensure instruction continues should the virus cause high absenteeism or school closings" that result from H1N1 (Swine Flu) outbreaks. Duncan suggested schools should evaluate what materials they have available for at-home learning, such as distributing recorded classes on podcasts and DVDs; creating take-home packets with up to 12 weeks of printed class material; or holding live classes via conference calls or "webinars." Webinars?!? I'm hip to the groove that we should keep kids learning, but the...
August 19, 2009
On Tuesday the Centers for Disease Control released its new toolkit, Preparing for the Flu: A Communication Toolkit for Businesses and Employers , which includes recommendations from the CDC, and a letter cosigned by the Secretaries of Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Labor. Their advice? Plan ahead and "encourage sick workers to stay home without penalty." You'd think this would go without saying, right? What employer would want someone with the swine flu to show up at work? As it turns out, lots of them. Today, nearly 1/2 of the workforce doesn't have paid sick days. And, to make...
August 6, 2009
I was amazed when a friend of mine told me that it took about a month for her and her first baby to figure out how to breastfeed. (Doesn't breastfeeding just...happen?) But she explained to me that it is actually a skill that moms and babies have to figure out. My friend was dedicated to breastfeeding exclusively for the 6 months recommended by doctors, but she shared with me that, "If I hadn't had time off work, I probably would have given up." Today 51% of new mothers have no paid leave of any kind, yet the majority of mothers with infants are in the labor force . This means that many moms...
July 10, 2009
Did you know that a bill proposing a paid sick days law was first introduced in Congress in 2004? Since then, never, not once, did the bill even get scheduled for a Congressional Committee hearing -- one of the first big steps before a bill can become a law. Until now.
June 10, 2009
Together, we're creating powerful momentum in the fight for paid sick days. But having the support of the Congresspeople who introduced the Healthy Families Act isn't enough to win this essential protection for working families. We need more Congresspeople on board with us.
June 5, 2009
On Wednesday at midnight, the gavel struck marking the close of the Connecticut Senate Session, and the end of our campaign for the Paid Sick Days bill this year. Despite an unbelievable amount of dedication and hard work, our push for Paid Sick Days came up just one vote short in the State Senate. But we still have lots to celebrate...