National Partnership for Women & Families

Blog Archive

From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

Realizing the Value of Health IT: Jumpstarting Efforts to Reduce Health Disparities

Health disparities and health information technology (IT). Those two issues aren’t linked very often, but they should be, and National Health IT Week presents a great opportunity to talk about why. Health information technology is a valuable tool we can use to reduce disparities for millions of Americans and improve the quality of health care.  

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

Jersey City Takes a Great Step Toward a Sick Days Standard

September 11, 2013 | Work and Family > Paid Sick Days

Members of the City Council in Jersey City, New Jersey, have taken an exciting step toward guaranteeing all workers in the city have the right to earn sick days. This is great news for the city, the state and paid sick days efforts across the country. 

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

Honoring America’s Grandparents

September 8, 2013 | Work and Family

Grandparents Day is a time to celebrate grandparents and the many ways they support and unite our families. It’s also a moment to consider whether we as a nation are doing all that we can to honor their contributions. 

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

A Bittersweet Labor Day

August 30, 2013 | Work and Family

Labor Day is a time to pay tribute to the enormous contributions of working people in this country. It is also a time for those of us who seek fairness and equality for all workers to consider how far we’ve come, and how far we have to go.

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

Ensuring Fairer, More Family Friendly Workplaces for All

August 7, 2013 | Work and Family | Workplace Fairness

People across the country experience the challenges that come from our nation’s outdated workplace policies. But the strain between responsibilities at home and on the job is especially acute when a baby is born or a new child arrives.

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

Two Decades of the FMLA: 100 Million Stories and a Strong Case for the Next Step

August 5, 2013 | Work and Family

Twenty years ago today, for the first time in our nation’s history, tens of millions of people had the right to take time away from work to address the health and caregiving needs we all face at some point in our lives.

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

One Step Closer to Equity for Peace Corps Volunteers

July 26, 2013 | Health Care | Reproductive Health

Here's a fact that may surprise you: Women who work for the Peace Corps at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and women who volunteer for the Peace Corps and serve overseas receive different health care coverage from the federal government.

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

Rhode Island Legislature Makes Paid Leave History!

Today, the Rhode Island legislature became the third in the nation to pass a law that guarantees workers paid time off to care for seriously ill family members and new children.

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

Amplifying the Voices of Patients

July 2, 2013 | Health Care

Big changes are taking place in our health care system — and it’s about time. While some innovations have been occurring in limited areas around the country, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is making bigger, bolder transformation of the health care system more of a reality.

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

Advancing the Nation’s 75-Year-Old Vision of Fair Workplaces

July 1, 2013 | Work and Family | Workplace Fairness

Seventy-five years ago last week, the nation celebrated a major victory for women and families when the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) became law.

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

A Tremendous Step Forward for New Yorkers and Our Nation

Early this morning, the New York City Council voted overwhelmingly to guarantee workers the right to earn paid sick days — taking a significant step forward for the country in giving workers this fundamental and common sense right.

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

Victory for Equality!

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a historic victory for same-sex couples and our nation’s promise of equal protection under the law.

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

New Preemption Law in Florida Strengthens Imperative for National Paid Sick Days Standard

Florida Governor Rick Scott handed the organized business lobby a victory today, and the losers are workers, local governments and the fundamental principle of democracy in Florida.

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

The Equal Pay Act Turns 50: The Times They’ve Been a-Changin’

1963 was a year of great change for our country. Martin Luther King, Jr., said the words “I Have A Dream,” President John F. Kennedy and civil rights activist Medgar Evers were assassinated, Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique first hit bookstore shelves and the Equal Pay Act was signed into law.

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

Messages That Matter This Mother's Day

“For everything you’ve taught me…” “For always being there…” “For all the sacrifices you’ve made… thanks, Mom.” These and messages like them are what mothers across the country will be reading in greeting cards and hearing from loved ones this weekend. But, for mothers who hold jobs, one reality is missing from these heartfelt sentiments.

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

New York City Council Paves the Way for One Million Workers to Earn Paid Sick Days

In a major victory in the effort to increase access to paid sick days, the New York City Council has passed a measure that would guarantee approximately one million workers the right to earn the paid sick time they need.

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

Mothers, Working Families Aren’t Fooled

May 6, 2013 | Work and Family

Working people today face serious challenges when it comes to managing job and family: Nearly 40 percent of workers in the private sector — and more than 80 percent of those who are low-wage workers — cannot earn a single paid sick day. Forty percent of all workers have no access to even unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act when serious personal or family medical needs arise.

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

Sad Day for Floridians

Floridians are the latest state residents to fall victim to an underhanded and harmful effort to undermine democracy across the country.

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

Why the U.S. Desperately Needs a National Paid Family and Medical Leave Program

The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee some type of paid time off for employees, despite ample evidence that paid leave policies benefit workers, businesses, and the economy.

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

Why the FMLA Isn’t Enough

While the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has helped more than 100,000 families take the time they need to care for their families, a striking 40% of the U.S. workforce isn’t eligible for the 12 weeks of unpaid leave the FMLA provides because their employers have fewer than 50 employees, or because they haven’t been working for their employers for at least a year and put in a minimum of 1,250 hours.

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