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2013 is the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – the first and only national law that enables workers to care for themselves and their loved ones without jeopardizing their jobs or economic security.
The birth or adoption of a child should be the most joyous of occasions. But for millions of Americans, this happy time is marred by impossible choices between caring for their new children and keeping their families financially secure.
We all want what’s best for our kids. Both parents and educators know firsthand the importance of keeping children healthy, and access to paid sick days for parents can make a real difference.
No worker should have to lose income or risk being fired for taking time off to recover from illness or care for a sick loved one, especially at a time when families’ finances are stretched and jobs can be hard to find. Yet nearly 44 million workers in the United States are not able to earn paid sick days, and African American workers are less likely to have access to this critical labor standard.
Nearly all workers need to take time away from work at some point to deal with a serious personal or family illness or to care for a new child. Laws providing paid family and medical leave allow workers to meet these needs without jeopardizing their economic security.
At some point in their lives, nearly all workers will need time away from their jobs to attend to their own serious illness, care for an ill or injured family member, or welcome a new child. But in the current economic climate—and without public policies providing job-protected paid family and medical leave—most can’t afford to take the time they need without causing a family financial crisis.
FACT SHEET | Leading business owners and managers recognize that every worker will at some point need time off to attend to health or family issues.
Parents need to be able to care for ill or newborn children. But the 21st century reality is that most parents work.
Paid family and medical leave (“paid leave”) allows older workers to address their own health needs without having to drop out of the labor force.
Too many new parents and younger federal employees are forced to choose between their paychecks and caring for a new child because they have not accrued enough leave time, or have already used it to attend prenatal medical appointments.
Just 11 percent of the workforce has access to paid family leave through their employers, and fewer than 40 percent of workers have access to personal medical leave through an employer’s temporary disability insurance program.
We, the undersigned organizations, express our strong support for an appropriation of $23 million for the State Paid Leave Fund within the U.S. Department of Labor. Grants made from this fund will assist states in planning, startup and outreach activities related to paid family and medical leave programs.
No one should face the impossible choice of caring for their health or keeping their paycheck or job. But millions of working people must make this decision every time they get sick or a family member needs care.
A minimum paid sick days standard would help to protect millions of working families from falling further into financial crisis during these tough economic times.
A new survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and commissioned by the Public Welfare Foundation demonstrates that lack of access to paid sick days has significant negative consequences for public health, health care costs, and families’ financial security.
The survey results could not be clearer: It is time for policymakers to guarantee access to paid sick days to the over 40 million U.S. workers who currently lack them. Workers should not have to risk their job to care for their families and shouldn’t have to risk their own-well-being—and the public’s health—to do their job.
Every day, working women and men in the United States struggle to meet the dual demands of work and family because their workplaces are without basic family friendly policies. It is long past time for workplaces to reflect the needs of 21st century working families, which for many include the ability to care for children, family members and elderly relatives while also being productive, responsible employees.
Workers should not have to choose between a paycheck, their job, and their own health or the health of their families. Yet, because of the lack of policies that help workers meet their family responsibilities, many workers face this choice every day.
A growing number of employers recognize the benefits of flexible workplace practices. These employers know that setting workplace standards that promote flexibility and allow workers to meet the dual demands of work and family improves employee productivity, loyalty and retention—creating happier, healthier workplaces, and better bottom lines.
Hourly, lower-wage workers are much less likely than salaried, professional employees to have workplace flexibility. Many are required to work in shifts that are unpredictable and constantly changing; they may be asked to work overtime with little notice; and they seldom have leeway to arrive late, leave early, or take time mid-day to deal with family or medical emergencies.
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