Tuesday, October 27, 2015

New Survey of Small Business Shows Many Support Federal Job Quality Improvements

A new report from the Main Street Alliance surveyed over 1000 businesses from 9 states to get their feedback on a variety of public policies. Among other findings, a majority of businesses supported a federal paid family leave policy and a national earned sick days policy.

From the report summary:

  • Paid family leave. While a majority don’t currently offer paid family leave, most small business owners surveyed support a national paid family and medical leave program.
  • Earned paid sick days. While just over half don’t currently offer earned paid sick days to their employees, a majority of small business owners surveyed support a national earned paid sick days policy, like the Healthy Families Act.
  • Raising the minimum wage. An overwhelming majority believe that anyone working full-time deserves to be out of poverty.
Read the full report here.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Cost of Doing Nothing

10062012-Chut ! Milla dort (7359336112)
Last month, the Department of Labor released a report on what it costs to not pass paid leave policies in the United States. Currently, only 12% of workers have access to paid parental and family leave, and about four in ten get paid medical leave through short term disability. For new and adoptive parents, people dealing with a life-threatening diagnosis, or people involved in accidents, the lack of long term paid leave is devastating to their pockets and to their lives.

Here are some of the findings:

Children have better health outcomes when their parents have paid leave:

  • Increased birth weight, decreased premature births, and decreased infant mortality are all associated with access to maternity leave.
    • Mothers who choose and are able to breastfeed and have maternity leave tend to have better breastfeeding outcomes.
  • Children with serious or chronic illness have better physical and emotional health outcomes when their parents have access to fully paid leave. Parents also report that their emotional health is better and they have a decreased likelihood of financial problems during that time.
  • Fathers who take two weeks or more of parental leave are more likely to be actively involved in their child's care nine months after birth - including getting up in the night with a child, feeding, and changing diapers.
Businesses save money through paid leave policies:
  • Paid maternity leave in particular and paid leave in general reduces turnover costs and increases retention, saving businesses the money spent on replacing valuable members of their team.
  • Offering paid leave makes it easier for companies to compete for talent internationally.
Our economy is better off with paid leave policies:
  • Paid maternity leave increases female participation in the labor force, which in turn supports economic growth for our country. DOL estimates indicate that if women aged 25-54 participated in the labor force at the same rate as Canada or Germany (which offer family policies including paid leave), 5 million more women would be in the labor force, generating $500 billion more economic activity each year.
Families are financially better off with paid leave policies:

  • 60% of workers without fully paid leave put off bills, used savings, and/or cut their leave short to make ends meet.
    • 84%  of workers with unpaid/partially paid leave put off spending, which hurts their families and our economy.
  • Mothers with access to paid leave are more likely to be employed following childbirth, In fact, access to paid leave policies can increase the number of hours worked. Work benefits a family in the short-term, of course, but it also gives women more of a safety net in retirement thanks to increased savings and more time under Social Security.
    • Paid maternity leave is associated with increased pay for women with children, which helps close the pay gap.
  • Women who have and use paid parental leave are 39% less likely to receive public assistance in the year following childbirth.
Finally, some of the cost of doing nothing can't be measured in numbers. As the report points out, women are being sidelined in business while men are denied opportunities at home. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Labor Day News: Paid Sick Days For Federal Contractors!

As workers across the country celebrated Labor Day yesterday, President Obama issued a new executive order to add even more joy to the festivities. Under his instructions, more than 300,000 federal contractors who do not currently have paid sick days will be able to earn sick time to care for themselves and their family members. You can see more about the executive order at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/07/fact-sheet-helping-middle-class-families-get-ahead-expanding-paid-sick.
But that's not all! In addition to the release of a new report, The Cost of Doing Nothing, President Obama also called on Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act and the FAMILY Act, which would let workers earn paid sick days and paid family leave.

If you support these measures, you can contact your members of Congress and let them know! MomsRising has letters for the FAMILY Act and the Healthy Families Act. You can also use http://www.wetweet.org/ to tweet to legislators and those running for office about the issues that matter most to you!

Advisory/Press Release (38) autism (2) behind the kitchen door (1) BKD (2) business (40) campaign (2) cdc (1) Center for Social Policy (1) center of american progress (2) child care (1) children (18) city council (7) Coalition (80) costs (11) coverage (2) data (2) domestic violence (8) earned sick time (23) economic opportunity institute (2) economic security (27) elder (5) election (2) election day (1) equal pay (7) event (39) family (33) Family Act (2) family leave (7) fda (1) Federal Poverty level (1) flu (7) fmla (3) food safety (1) food safety modernization act (1) gender gap (2) H1N1 (7) health (4) health care (16) Healthy Families Act (20) huffington post (2) huffpo (2) implementation (3) injury (1) institute for women's policy research (1) insurance (1) law (2) legislation (45) legislators (1) legislature (1) letter to editor (7) letter writing (6) LGBT (4) living wage (4) living wage bill (8) low wage (5) maternity care coalition (1) May 13 (1) mayor (17) minimum wage (1) mobilize (1) national (11) new hampshire university (1) Newsletter (3) New York City (1) Nutter (2) NutterWatch (9) occupational injury (1) op-ed (7) other states/cities (23) PA (38) paid (1) paid leave (24) paid sick days (29) Pennsylvania (2) petition (12) Philadelphia (147) Philly ROC (4) pictures (4) Pitt (1) polling (1) poverty (2) preemption (5) pregnancy (4) press (34) prevention (1) public comment (5) public health (31) ranking (1) regulations (1) report (15) restaurants (10) restaurant workers (3) ROC (1) safe time (1) san francisco (17) SB 333 (1) Seattle (1) Shriver Center (1) SPM (1) stats (9) Story (21) study (4) Supplmental Poverty measure (1) take action (34) tax credits (1) transportation (1) trust across america (1) university of Boston (1) university of Michigan (1) University of Pittsburgh (1) veto (1) video (3) Virginia (1) volunteer (1) vote (6) vote for homes (1) voter id (1) Washington DC (1) women (15) workers (3) work flexibility (1) work-life balance (14) world economic forum (1)