Why We Need a New Standard of Sick Days

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Information about Why We Need a New Standard of Sick Days

Published on August 3, 2009

Author: familyvaluesatwork

Source: authorstream.com

Family Values @ Work: Why We Need a New Standard of Paid Sick Days : Family Values @ Work: Why We Need a New Standard of Paid Sick Days Family Values @ Work: A Multi-State Consortium valuefamiliesatwork.org Family Values @ Work : Family Values @ Work No one should have to risk their job or career in order to care for their family. No one should have to put their family at risk in order to keep their job. Family Values @ Work : Family Values @ Work Yet millions of people in this country face these predicaments every day. Clarifying the Problem: : Clarifying the Problem: Families have changed – workplace hasn’t kept pace. Some employers do a great job. But many outdated policies, based on assumption that workers are men with wives at home full time. Family values too often end at the workplace door. What Everyone Needs : What Everyone Needs Occasional extended time for: a new child, a serious illness, a seriously ill family member. Policy: Family and Medical Leave Insurance Time each year for: routine illness (e.g., cold, flu,) school or medical appointments, the care of an ill family member. Policy: paid sick days, “small necessities” bills Background: FMLA, 1993 : Background: FMLA, 1993 12 weeks leave to care for for new child, seriously ill child, spouse or elderly parent, or personal illness Includes job guarantee and health insurance Broader than maternity – and includes men. Problems with FMLA : Problems with FMLA Background: Sick Days : Background: Sick Days Half the workforce – and ¾ of low-wage workers - have no paid sick days. 7 out of 10 who do can’t use them to care for sick family members. What’s at Stake : What’s at Stake Fewer than 1 in 7 food service workers have paid sick days. Meet Monique Evans, Portland, ME. She wound up losing her job when her daughter had the flu and she was told, “Come in anyway.” What’s At Stake : What’s At Stake “If the kids are sick and sent home from school, there’s no place for them to go. The school called and said I had to get my 5-year-old daughter. I was fired.” Denise, Eau Claire, WI Impact on Parents – and Kids : Impact on Parents – and Kids Work can’t pay if it doesn’t last – and it can’t last if it jeopardizes kids. High cost of starting over. Impact on Children : Impact on Children Lack of bonding time for infants Lack of preventative care Kids go to day care sick. Kids send themselves to school sick. Older kids miss school to watch younger kids. Health and learning issues become disabilities. Parents miss school activities. What’s at Stake for Low-Wage Workers : What’s at Stake for Low-Wage Workers High cost of being poor Ability to keep a job, build assets Well-being of children and families High costs for employers What’s at Stake for Women : What’s at Stake for Women Low-income women average much less pay than male counterparts, partly because of job loss due to family care. This is one reason the U.S. has the highest child-poverty rate in the industrialized world. Good for Seniors : Good for Seniors Helps aging recover more quickly, less need for nursing homes. Reduces stress on sandwich generation, improves their health. Paid time improves lives of paid caregivers, reduces turnover, lifts quality of care. Reduces risk to PUBLIC HEALTH. Good for Business : Good for Business Cost of replacement: 150% for salaried, $5500 even for $8/hr workers Low-income mothers with paid leave have higher earnings and more likely to be employed. [Heather Boushey] Not a favor to women – a better way to do business: cuts turnover, presenteeism, improves quality and productivity. Good for Individual and Public Health : Good for Individual and Public Health Sick children recover quicker with parental care. [Jody Heymann] Chronic conditions are more controllable with parental involvement. Access to insurance is meaningful only if people have time to seek care and to heal. Good for Reducing Health Costs : Good for Reducing Health Costs Sick days can drastically cut costs of emergency room care. [Health Care Finance and Policy] Sick days can reduce hospitalizations and health care spending [IWPR] Appropriate, timely treatment can control symptoms and prevent serious complications of many conditions. [Shi and Lu] Guarantee for All : Guarantee for All Some smart employers do this on their own – e.g, SAS Not all – we need to guarantee a floor for everyone. Redefining Family Values : Redefining Family Values Family values = valuing families = valuing caregiving. A Proper Role of Government : A Proper Role of Government Establish rules when values collide with existing practices. Examples: Minimum wage, overtime, ending child labor Ending legal discrimination Smoking Seat belts Recycling Asbestos People organized and THE RULES CHANGED. Solutions: Public Policies : Solutions: Public Policies Healthy Families Act: Guarantees a new minimum standard of 7 paid sick days Pro-rated for part-time workers You can use the time to care for sick family members, including same-sex partners. Strong Public Support : Strong Public Support Polling shows over-whelming support among all likely voters across regional, party, race and gender lines. 89% support paid sick days. 76% support family leave insurance. Support astronomical among communities of color – 94% for paid sick days. Family Values @ Work: A Multi-State Consortium : Family Values @ Work: A Multi-State Consortium Eight state coalitions: California, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Washington and Wisconsin -- raise funds together for grassroots work. All led by groups with long history of grassroots organizing. Shared funding allowed qualitative leap in collaboration, effectiveness, communications strategy. Consortium also includes Colorado, Illinois and Pennsylvania. We’re in touch with other states and with national allies such as National Partnership for Women and Families. . Making Progress in the States : Making Progress in the States Making progress on guaranteeing protection: Sick days: San Francisco, DC and Milwaukee won! State bills pending in California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts and elsewhere. All of us are working on a federal standard. Increased Collaboration : Increased Collaboration Connecting the dots: Labor . Women . Seniors . Progressive employers . Family physicians . Faith-based . Disabilities groups . Chronic disease . Alzheimers Associations . AIDS groups . Mental health organizations . PTAs . Principals . School boards . Social workers . Cities/counties groups . Racial justice groups . Welfare rights/anti-poverty groups . Children’s groups . Foster children . Work-family researchers . Legal groups . Parents of adult disabled . Adoption groups . Immigrant advocates . Citizen Action . Human Rights groups . Non-profit associations . Insurers . Women’s business associations . AAUW . YWCA . Planned Parenthood . School nurses . Public health experts Join Us! : Join Us! Hear more stories: 1000voicesarchives.org. For more information, contact: valuefamilesatwork.org nationalpartnership.org

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