National Partnership for Women & Families


Paid Sick Days and the “Having it All” Media Frenzy

June 29, 2012

When the latest issue of The Atlantic hit newsstands, the essay featured on its cover garnered significant media attention. That’s because its focus was on women’s roles in our workplaces and our families and the struggle between work and family — something millions of workers across the country can identify with. Paid sick days coalition members weighed in right away:

  • On ThinkProgress, Tara Dawson McGuinness and Sara Jane Glynn from the Center for American Progress Action Fund point to four policies that would “address the problems facing parents in the modern workplace.” And two of them are a paid sick days standard like the one included in the federal Healthy Families Act and paid family and medical leave insurance. Read more…
  • On the Huffington Post, National Partnership for Women & Families President Debra L. Ness says that “our country's failure to adopt family friendly workplace policies makes it impossible for either women or men who hold jobs to have it all, regardless of whether or not they have children,” pointing to the more than 40 percent of the nation's workers who don’t have a single paid sick day. Read more…
  • And at the Women’s Media Center, Family Values @ Work President Ellen Bravo explains that working mothers who struggle because the nation lacks basic family friendly policies “are not thinking about ‘having it all,’ they’re worried about losing it all.” She argues that women need policies like paid sick days that allow them to be responsible workers and parents “without having to be superwomen.” Read more…

We can’t say it enough: Paid sick days are central to the health and economic security of all workers — women and men — and their families. That’s why businesses and lawmakers at all levels need to make them a top priority. This recent media frenzy provides an opportunity to remind them all of how important this issue is to working families throughout the country.