National Partnership for Women & Families

Family Friendly Workplace Measures Taking Effect in 2017

Memo to Interested Media
December 20, 2016 —

TO: Interested Media | FROM: Sadie Kliner, Deputy Communications Director, 202-986-2600

Working families across the country celebrated several new family friendly workplace policies at the local, state and federal levels in 2016, many of which will take effect in 2017. This means the new year will bring significant increases in working people’s access to paid sick days, paid family and medical leave, fair pay, and protections for pregnant workers. Highlights include two new statewide paid sick days laws taking effect – bringing the national total to seven such laws, six of which will be in effect in 2017 – and a federal rule that will guarantee paid sick time for more than one million people who work on federal contracts.

As National Partnership President Debra L. Ness said, “These victories are the result of years of work to build a nation in which people do not have to choose between job and family, everyone has a fair shot and fair pay, and no one has to experience discrimination in the workplace. Thanks to dedicated advocates, lawmakers, business leaders and working people across the country, we made great strides toward that vision this year – through dozens of new state and local laws, a flurry of employer policies, several executive actions at the federal level and more. It was also encouraging to see a record number of elected officials, across party lines, talk about the need for workplace supports this election season. But there is much more work ahead to protect these victories and continue the drumbeat for the broad, meaningful change the country needs.”

At the state and local levels, family friendly workplace laws will take effect in 2017 in:

  • Arizona. On July 1, 2017, a paid sick days law – the sixth statewide law of its kind – will take effect (details here). Nearly six in 10 voters approved the law by ballot measure in November 2016 – an indication of working people’s need and the policy’s popularity.
  • Three cities in California. On January 1, 2017, a citywide law that will supplement the benefits workers receive under California’s paid family leave law will take effect in San Francisco for employers with 50 or more employees (details here). The law will take effect for employers with 35-49 employees on July 1, 2017, and for employers with 20-34 employees in 2018. In addition, on January 1, 2017, a citywide paid sick days law will take effect in Santa Monica, as will a law expanding San Francisco’s paid sick days law to align with the statewide paid sick days law and cover leave for preventive care, domestic violence and other purposes. And on October 1, 2017, a citywide paid sick days law will take effect in Berkeley. Details on these paid sick days laws can be found here.
  • Two jurisdictions in Illinois. On July 1, 2017, city- and countywide paid sick days laws will take effect in the city of Chicago and in Cook County. Details on both laws can be found here.
  • Two cities in Minnesota. On July 1, 2017, citywide paid sick days laws will take effect in Minneapolis and partially take effect (for employers with 24 or more employees only) in St. Paul. St. Paul’s law will take effect for smaller employers in 2018. Details on both laws can be found here.
  • Morristown, N.J. On January 11, 2017, a citywide paid sick days law will take effect. Details can be found here.
  • Spokane, Wash. On January 1, 2017, a citywide paid sick days law will take effect. Details can be found here.
  • Vermont. On January 1, 2017, a paid sick days law – the fifth statewide law of its kind – will take effect (for employers with six or more employees only). The law will take effect for smaller employers in 2018. Details can be found here.
  • Wake County, N.C. On January 1, 2017, a measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for municipal employees will take effect.

At the federal level, advances to monitor in 2017 include:

  • Beginning on January 1, 2017, federal contractors will be required to provide paid sick time to their employees. The requirement applies to new contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2017, and is estimated to guarantee 1.15 million people the right to earn paid sick time, including nearly 600,000 who currently do not have a single day.
  • Also on January 1, 2017, federal contractors will be required to provide their employees with wage statements designed to improve pay transparency – a tool in rooting out pay discrimination and helping close unlawful wage gaps.
  • Beginning on October 1, 2017, employers with 100 or more employees will begin documenting compensation data by gender, race and ethnicity on the EEO-1 forms they file with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – another tool for the federal government and employers to use to better detect discriminatory pay practices.
  • And starting October 25, 2017, federal subcontractors will have to disclose severe or repeated labor law violations – such as unlawful conduct related to wage, safety and other workplace protections – when bidding on federal contracts.

Other state and local victories in 2016 were secured in:

  • California and two cities in the state. On April 11, 2016, the state’s paid family leave law – the first statewide law of its kind – was expanded to increase the wage replacement rate for workers who take leave; the expansion will take effect in 2018. On April 4, 2016, the state’s paid sick days law was expanded to cover some workers who were initially left out of the law; coverage will take effect for these workers in 2018. Citywide paid sick days laws that guarantee workers the right to earn more paid sick days than provided under the new state law took effect in Los Angeles on July 1, 2016, and in San Diego on July 11, 2016. Details can be found here. In addition, on January 1, 2016, two statewide laws took effect that enable teachers to receive some pay when they take parental leave and expand workers’ ability to take leave to participate in a child’s school activities.
  • Clarkston, Ga. A measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for municipal employees was enacted on November 1, 2016; the effective date is currently unknown.
  • Colorado and one county in the state. A law guaranteeing pregnant workers in the state reasonable on-the-job accommodations when they need them was enacted on June 1, 2016, and took effect on August 10, 2016 (details here). A measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for municipal employees in Boulder County was enacted in January 2016 and took effect immediately.
  • Ferndale, Mich. A measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for municipal employees was enacted on January 12, 2016, and took effect immediately (details here).
  • Five jurisdictions in Florida. A countywide measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for Miami-Dade County employees was adopted on February 2, 2016, and took effect on February 12, 2016. A measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for municipal employees in Doral was adopted on August 10, 2016, and took effect immediately. A measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for municipal employees in West Palm Beach was enacted and took effect in September 2016; the exact date is unknown. A measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for municipal employees in Wellington was adopted on October 1, 2016, and took effect immediately. And a measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for municipal employees in Miami Beach was adopted on October 19, 2016, and took effect immediately. Details on some of these measures are available here.
  • Kansas City, Mo. On May 1, 2016, a measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for municipal employees took effect (details here).
  • Kentucky. A resolution recognizing the importance of breastfeeding and encouraging employers to accommodate breastfeeding employees passed on March 14, 2016.
  • Two jurisdictions in Montana. A measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for county employees in Missoula County was enacted on March 23, 2016, and took effect on July 1, 2016 (details here). A measure guaranteeing paid pregnancy leave for city employees in Missoula was enacted on November 23, 2016, and took effect retroactively on July 1, 2016.
  • Montgomery County, Md. On October 1, 2016, a countywide paid sick days law took effect (details here).
  • Three cities in New Jersey. Citywide paid sick days laws took effect in New Brunswick on January 6, 2016, and in Elizabeth on March 2, 2016. A citywide paid sick days law in Plainfield was enacted on March 14, 2016, and took effect on July 15, 2016. Details on all of these laws can be found here.
  • New York state and New York City. A paid family leave law – the fourth statewide law of its kind – was enacted on April 4, 2016, and will take effect in 2018 (details here). In addition, on January 19, 2016, a statewide law took effect that guarantees pregnant workers reasonable on-the-job accommodations when they need them (details here). And on January 1, 2016, a measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for many municipal employees in New York City took effect (details here).
  • Two jurisdictions in North Carolina. A measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for municipal employees in Greensboro was enacted on August 16, 2016, and took effect on September 1, 2016. A measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for county employees in Durham County was enacted on September 1, 2016, and took effect on October 1, 2016. Details on both of these measures are available here.
  • Two jurisdictions in Ohio. A measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for municipal employees in Newburgh Heights was enacted on May 17, 2016, and took effect on May 18, 2016. A measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for county employees in Summit County was enacted on October 20, 2016, and took effect immediately. Details on both of these measures are available here.
  • Oregon. On January 1, 2016, a paid sick days law – the fourth statewide law of its kind – took effect (details here), as did a law requiring employers to allow employees to use accrued sick time to address certain situations related to domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking. In addition, a measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for municipal employees in Portland took effect on January 1, 2016 (details here).
  • Richfield, Minn. A measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for municipal employees was enacted on January 1, 2016, and took effect immediately.
  • Two cities in Texas. A measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for municipal employees in San Antonio was enacted on September 15, 2016, and took effect on October 1, 2016 (details here). A measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for municipal employees in Lake Jackson was enacted on November 21, 2016; the effective date is currently unknown.
  • Utah. A law guaranteeing pregnant workers in the state reasonable on-the-job accommodations when they need them was enacted on March 28, 2016, and took effect on May 10, 2016 (details here).
  • Washington and two cities in the state. A paid sick days law – the seventh statewide law of its kind – was enacted on November 8, 2016, by ballot measure with the approval of nearly six in 10 voters. The law will take effect in 2018. On February 1, 2016, a citywide paid sick days law took effect in Tacoma (details here). And on January 1, 2016, a measure guaranteeing paid parental leave for municipal employees took effect in King County (details here).
  • Wisconsin. A law allowing workers to take job-protected leave to donate bone marrow or organs was enacted on April 1, 2016, and took effect on July 1, 2016.
  • Laws strengthening equal pay protections passed or took effect in many states in 2016, including California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon.
  • And laws improving workers’ ability to secure fair and predictable work schedules passed or took effect in the District of Columbia, New Hampshire and Seattle, Wash.

And at the federal level in 2016:

  • A regulation strengthening equal pay protections for employees of federal contractors took effect for contracts entered into on or after January 11, 2016.
  • Updated regulations on sex discrimination among employees of federal contractors took effect on August 15, 2016.
  • A requirement for federal contractors to disclose labor law violations when bidding on contracts began to take effect on October 25, 2016.
  • And although a federal court temporarily blocked a rule that would have expanded overtime protections to millions of workers from taking effect on December 1, 2016, some employers are moving forward to comply with the rule.

When all of the new state and local laws take effect, the country will have at least seven states, the District of Columbia and 32 other jurisdictions with paid sick days laws; four states with paid family leave laws and five states that provide paid personal medical leave through temporary disability insurance laws; at least 45 localities that guarantee city or county workers paid parental leave; and 18 states and five other jurisdictions with pregnancy accommodation laws. However, despite these very significant advances, the majority of workers in the country are not guaranteed these workplace protections.

Nationally, 36 percent of private sector workers – or more than 41 million people – cannot earn paid sick days. Just 13 percent of private sector workers have access to paid family leave through their employers, and just 40 percent have paid personal medical leave through an employer-provided temporary disability insurance program. The gender-based wage gap persists and is especially punishing for women of color. And many pregnant women are still fired or forced off their jobs because they are or might become pregnant, and when they need minor accommodations to continue working.

“2016 was a year of unprecedented progress in the effort to advance fair and family friendly workplace policies – at the local, state and federal levels, and in the private sector,” Ness said. “Our nation’s working families desperately need that progress and the momentum to continue. Existing policies demonstrate clearly that these policies work well and that the country will be better off if members of Congress prioritize strong, common sense proposals like the Healthy Families Act so we have a national paid sick days standard, the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act so all workers have access to paid family and medical leave, and the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act so protections against pay and pregnancy discrimination are clearer and stronger.”

Earlier this month, the National Partnership released the results of an election eve/night poll showing 82 percent of 2016 voters say it is important for the next president and Congress to consider new laws that would guarantee paid sick days and paid family and medical leave. The same is true for a majority of 2016 voters in every demographic subgroup according to the poll, including ideologically conservative men who voted for President-elect Trump. A memo summarizing the poll results is available here.

The poll was released along with the results of a multivariate analysis of the platforms of all general election candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and governor. Those results show that one-third of candidates included paid sick days, paid family and medical leave, fair pay, or protections for pregnant workers on their campaign websites this year – and those who did were more likely to win, controlling for other factors, than those who did not. The results of the website analysis are available here.

To talk to one of our policy experts, please contact me at 202-986-2600 or skliner@nationalpartnership.org. For additional information, explore the National Partnership’s family friendly workplace policy database at NationalPartnership.org/WFDB.

Contact

Sadie Kliner (202) 986-2600 skliner@nationalpartnership.org

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

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