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“These issues are gaining so much momentum, and we’re seeing news article after news article writing that [paid leave and paid sick days are] 'the next big thing,' but it’s up to the people to bring these changes to fruition," said Vicki Shabo, vice president at the National Partnership for Women & Families.
However, the Washington-based National Partnership for Women & Families, a strong proponent for paid sick leave, cited a study that found paying a worker to stay home when sick saves employers twice as much money than paying for them to work when sick.
While the press conference was happening, Philadelphia became the 17th U.S. city to pass a local law mandating paid sick days. Three states—Connecticut, California, and Massachusetts—mandate paid sick leave as well. The bulk of these advances at the city and state level have come just in the last two years, the fruits of a decade-long grassroots campaign. “What a difference a few years makes,” said Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families.
Employees without paid sick days are more likely to go to work while ill, potentially spreading infectious diseases to co-workers, according to the National Partnership for Women & Families, a proponent of sick-day legislation.
“This is a good day for Philadelphians and for the effort to ensure that all workers in this country have this basic right,” Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families said in a statement.
“The momentum for paid sick days is undeniable,” Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, said in a news release.
According to a National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF) survey of U.S. women who gave birth between July 2011 and 2012, 9 percent of pregnant women who requested schedule changes or time off while pregnant (for reasons relating to their pregnancy, such as prenatal appointments) said their requests were denied.
The National Partnership for Women and Families reports that almost 30 percent of adults serve as unpaid family caregivers annually. When a family caregiver has a paid job, their caregiving duties will necessitate taking some time off. We want caring and healthier families. A national paid sick days requirement is an overdue policy to strengthen and support American families.
"Generally, the laws require employees to earn an hour of paid sick time for a certain number of hours worked," said Vicki Shabo, vice president at the National Partnership for Women & Families.
Vicki Shabo, vice president at the National Partnership for Women & Families, told Bloomberg BNA Jan. 23 that the organization opposes the bill because it offers workers a “false choice” between pay and leave time. “Workers need the wages to support their families and they need the time to care for themselves and their loved ones,” she said.
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.
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.
"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.
“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.
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