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In New Jersey, in the year after giving birth, women who take paid leave have been about 40 percent less likely to receive public aid or food stamps, a Rutgers study commissioned by the National Partnership for Women and Families found.
“You’re finally starting to see momentum on [paid leave and paid sick days],” says Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families. Over the past decade, Ness has noticed that young parents are becoming increasingly angry at the lack of employer support when they start to have children. “This will be part of the conversation during the next election,” she says. “The sleeping giant is waking up.”
“Ensuring federal employees can take paid time off when new children arrive is not only the right thing to do for the health and well-being of these workers and their families; it would also save the government money through reduced turnover and replacement costs, and it would help the federal government attract and retain a valuable workforce, including much-needed younger workers,” said National Partnership President Debra Ness in a statement.
Instead of reading tea leaves about the elections, ask voters what they think. The National Partnership and the Rockefeller Family Fund did just that, commissioning a nationwide election night poll of 2014 voters. Eighty-one percent said it’s important for lawmakers to consider new laws that help keep families economically secure such as paid sick days and family and medical leave insurance. Seventy-four percent of independents, 73 percent of Republicans, 75 percent of men, 95 percent of voters under 30, 97 percent of African-Americans and 95 percent of Latinos agreed.
"What businesses find is that workers are better able to take care of the family responsibilities they might have, come back to work, be more productive, be more engaged and less likely to drop out of the workforce," said Vicki Shabo, vice president of the National Partnership for Women and Families.
Vicki Shabo, vice president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, called Connecticut's law "a great first step" and predicted that several other states, notably Oregon and Vermont, will soon follow suit.
“As a large and growing body of research, and the experiences of millions of workers and businesses show, policies that enable workers to care for themselves and their families without risking their jobs or economic security are good for workers, families, businesses and our economy,” said National Partnership President Debra Ness.
The way families live and work today is full of impossible choices, Vicki Shabo, vice president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, tells Yahoo! Parenting. “For workers paid hourly, without a single paid sick day, they’re having to choose between earning a paycheck to pay their rent or to take care of a sick child.”
"This is fantastic news for workers, families and our economy," Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families.
In 2006, San Francisco became the first city in the nation to guarantee access to earned sick days, and in 2011, Connecticut became the first state to mandate the benefit, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families.
“What we often hear is that women think they have a right to paid maternity leave, but in actuality only 60 percent of workers are even eligible for unpaid leave,” Vicki Shabo, vice president of the National Partnership for Women & Families,' tells Yahoo! Parenting.
(Map data courtesy of the National Partnership for Women & Families)
In 2015 groups such as the National Partnership for Women and Families hope to close gaps in federal workplace protections to address the needs of pregnant workers. They are urging Congress to pass the Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act to achieve this critical step.
Nationwide, three states and sixteen cities have passed paid sick days laws. At the same time, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families, “nearly four in 10 private sector workers can’t earn paid sick days.”
As of November, 16 cities and three states have paid sick leave ordinances, according to a report from the Philadelphia Mayor's Task Force on Paid Sick Leave. But some states are passing pre-emption laws that prohibit municipalities from establishing sick leave policies — up to 11 from 2011 through 2014, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families.
“Every family in America has a stake in the outcome of this case,” said Judith L. Lichtman, a senior advisor to the National Partnership for Women and Families, which submitted a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of 12 groups committed to maternal and fetal health.
(Statistics provided by the National Partnership for Women & Families)
According to a 2012 poll commissioned by the National Partnership for Women and Families, 86 percent of Americans support paid leave.
“Oregon is entirely blue,” Vicki Shabo, vice president at the National Partnership for Women & Families, pointed out. “Paid sick days is something they’ve been working on for a long time.”
The nonprofit National Partnership for Women and Families has pushed for paid sick time laws, which it considers “basic minimum protections that working families need, so they won’t have to lose a job or forfeit income when they have the flu or a family member is sick,” says Vicki Shabo, the organization’s vice president.
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