Last Friday, June 12 , nearly half of all private sector workers in Oregon woke up hoping that a case of the flu, strep throat or some other common and contagious illness wouldn’t force them to choose between staying home to recover or care for a sick child and the jobs and wages they need to put food on the table.
Earlier this spring, a bipartisan majority of U.S. senators voted in favor of a nonbinding paid sick days budget amendment. For paid sick days advocates, this promising development was a unique opportunity for action and accountability. Today, the work to turn that symbolic vote into meaningful support continues.
Even though 21 jurisdictions in the United States have or will soon have a paid sick days law in place, millions of workers throughout the country don’t have access to paid sick days. That’s the key finding of a new analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, in collaboration with the National Partnership for Women & Families.
After a years-long fight for paid sick days in Philadelphia, a law passed overwhelmingly by the City Council earlier this year takes effect today. Now, workers at businesses with 10 or more employees will earn one hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked. But sadly, that’s not the end of the story.
Paid sick days advocates from across the country got a boost from U.S. Senator Patty Murray today. Murray is the lead Senate sponsor of the Healthy Families Act and she championed the recent budget amendment that garnered bipartisan support for paid sick days. Today, she joined a national coalition call to talk about the issue.
Closing out a week of attention to families’ economic security, the Obama administration paid special tribute yesterday to state and local “champions of change” who are making a real difference in communities and workplaces across the country. Among them were several paid sick days advocates whose dedication and victories are paving the way for national level progress.
In a flurry of budget amendment votes in the U.S. Senate last week, those of us who advocate for paid sick days and other family friendly workplace policies witnessed an encouraging and unprecedented sign of progress. The vote was promising, but there is more work to do.
Cross-posted from the Huffington Post. It's clear that America's families, lawmakers and employers are ready for action to advance paid sick days and paid leave policies. The Obama administration's new effort, combined with continued progress in jurisdictions and at individual companies like Microsoft, will make that even clearer.
This week’s election in Chicago generated much attention due to its impact on the iconic city’s future leaders. But voters were also faced with a ballot question critical to more than 460,000 workers and the overall health and well-being of the city.
Progress in the nationwide effort to increase access to paid sick days continued at the federal and local levels last week. On Thursday, Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) reintroduced the Healthy Families Act and the Philadelphia City Council approved a hard-won paid sick days ordinance that Mayor Nutter promptly signed into law.
In Washington state, January has been a good month for workers and advocates pushing for family friendly workplace policies. On Tuesday, the Tacoma City Council approved a paid sick days ordinance, making it the first city to do so in 2015, and the first jurisdiction to follow President Obama's recent call for action the issue. And just yesterday, a statewide proposal (HB 1356) that would guarantee at least one million workers the right to earn paid sick days passed out of the House Labor Committee.
Voters from coast to coast turned out on November 4 to show their support for paid sick days. Thanks to voters approving ballot measures in Massachusetts, Oakland, Calif., and two cities in New Jersey – Montclair and Trenton – these jurisdictions can now be added to the list of places that will guarantee workers the basic right to earn paid sick days.
Yesterday brought further evidence of strong support for paid sick days when city councils in San Diego, Calif., and Eugene, Ore., passed ordinances that would guarantee workers access to this basic workplace protection. If the bills become law, it would mean that an additional 300,000+ workers gain the right to take up to five paid sick days a year. But the future of both bills is uncertain.
We’ve long been aware of the disparities in access to paid sick days in this country. This week, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) released a new analysis that provides a clear and up-to-date picture of just how stark the differences are — across ethnicity, occupation, wages and hours worked. The findings confirm that a national paid sick days standard is badly needed.
Less than two months into the year, remarkable support for and momentum around paid sick days policies are building from coast to coast.
Today, the Newark City Council built on the strong momentum we have seen around paid sick days already in 2014 by passing a paid sick days standard for New Jersey’s largest city.
New Jersey became a little more family friendly last week.
D.C. Mayor Gray signed a measure to expand the District’s paid sick days law to cover an additional 20,000 tipped restaurant and bar workers.
From paid sick days and paid leave victories to the introduction of the FAMILY Act, 2013 was a year of great progress for America’s working families. And 2014 is off to an equally strong and promising start.
Tonight, the City Council in Newark, New Jersey, built on the great momentum we’ve seen around common sense paid sick days policies this year by passing its own standard.
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