Nationwide, the National Partnership for Women & Families reports that adults without paid sick leave are 1.5 times more likely than workers with paid sick leave to go to work with a contagious disease.
For instance, according to a recent review of state laws conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families, five states require women seeking an abortion to be notified about the false risk of breast cancer; two states force them to learn about the supposed link between abortion and suicide.
However, as the National Partnership for Women and Families explains in its “Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act,” the law only applies to companies with 50 or more employees.
"In a poll conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families in 2012, 86 percent of Americans wanted some kind of paid parental leave, including 73 percent of Republican voters."
"Women in service jobs and clock-in jobs don't even bother asking for workplace accommodations because they are afraid to ask," said Vicki Shabo, vice president of the National Partnership for Women and Families.
There are "whole demographics" that the programs can discriminate against, says Judith Lichtman, a senior adviser with the National Partnership for Women & Families. These include women, minorities and low wage workers who are disproportionately afflicted with chronic illnesses, she says.
A recent report by the National Partnership for Women & Families, aptly titled Bad Medicine, looks at laws that “undermine the high-quality, patient-centered care that health care providers and advocates strive to achieve.”
The fight for paid sick leave requirements has picked up steam since San Francisco passed the nation’s first local paid sick leave policy in 2006. D.C. followed suit two years later, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families.
Ask about her rates of C-section, early delivery and episiotomy, for instance, and when she typically induces labor, advises Maureen P. Corry, senior adviser for the childbirth connection program at the National Partnership for Women and Families.
Adding major insurers, with their large patient rolls and deep pockets, could start to tie these scattered efforts together, said Mark Savage, director of health information technology policy at the National Partnership for Women and Families.
Too many people across the country still lack this crucial workplace policy. Today, only 12 percent of the U.S. workforce has paid family leave through their employers, and less than 40 percent has access to any kind of employer-provided short-term disability insurance to cover serious personal illness.
However, testimony from Kevin Trapani, CEO and president of The Redwoods Group, and Maryella Gockel, flexibility leader at Ernst & Young LLP, demonstrates that such worries are misguided. Indeed, for these employers, as well as for businesses in the states that have passed paid family leave insurance laws (California, Rhode Island, and New Jersey), there has been no evidence of what witness Vicki Shabo of the National Partnership for Women & Families called the “parade of horribles”—a litany of negative business implications predicted by critics.
But that was the culmination of a difficult, nearly nine-year fight. “In the early 80s, when it was first introduced, nobody was even uttering the words work/family policy or work/life balance,” said Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, which played a big role in crafting the FMLA.
Debra Ness, president of National Partnership for Women and Families, also praised the guidelines as "a much-needed interpretation of the nation's laws banning discrimination based on pregnancy."
If the bills become law, it would mean that more than 300,000 additional workers gain the right to take up to five paid sick days a year, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families.
Although everybody needs access to paid sick time, very few actually receive it. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, about 40% private sector workers in the United States, about 40 million workers, receive no paid sick leave at all.
"There is still a stigma against hiring younger women for some jobs, where an employer wants to know somebody is going to be on a job for years without interruption," said Vicki Shabo, vice president at the National Partnership for Women & Families.
The legislative interference comes at a time when we are working hard to improve the quality of care and make it more patient-and family-centered. This contrast was noted in a new report from the National Partnership for Women & Families, "Bad Medicine: How a Political Agenda is Undermining Women's Health Care," which examines abortion restrictions that are contrary to medical standards and efforts to improve care.
Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, called the new guidelines "a powerful tool in the effort to eradicate the unlawful and unequal treatment of pregnant women in the workplace."
According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, almost half of all workers eligible for FMLA leave have been unable to take time off because they simply can’t afford to go without income.
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