Advancing the rights of working families.

Latest News from ABB

Our Legislative Efforts

Map

Between May 2014 and May 2015 A Better Balance worked on these legislative issues around the country.


state-az Arizona Paid Sick
state-ca California Paid Sick, Scheduling, Implementation
state-co Colorado Paid Family Leave
Connecticut
Connecticut Paid Family Leave, Paid Sick, Scheduling
state-dc District of Columbia Paid family Leave, Pregnant Workers Fairness
Florida Florida Paid Sick
state-ga Georgia Kin Care
state-hi Hawaii Paid Family Leave, Paid Sick
Illinois
Illinois Paid Sick, Pregnant Workers Fairness, Implementation
state-ky Kentucky Pregnant Workers Fairness
Maryland

Maryland

Paid Sick, Scheduling
state-ma Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness, Paid Family Leave, Paid Sick, Scheduling, Implementation

state-mi

Michigan Paid Sick
state-mn Minnesota Paid Sick, Scheduling, Paid Family Leave
Nebraska
Nebraska Paid Sick, Pregnant workers Fairness
New_Hampshire
New Hampshire Breastfeeding
state-nj New Jersey Paid Sick, Implementation
New_Mexico
New Mexico Paid Family Leave
New_York
New York Paid Family Leave, Scheduling, Caregiver Discrimination, Equal Pay, Right to Request, Implementation
Oregon
Oregon Paid Sick, Scheduling, Implementation
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Paid Sick
Rhode_Island
Rhode Island Paid Sick, Paid Family Leave, Implementation
Tennesee
Tennessee Paid Family Leave, Pregnant Workers Fairness
Texas
Texas Pregnant Workers Fairness
Vermont
Vermont Paid Sick
Washington
Washington Implementation
West_Virginia
West Virginia Paid Sick
Wisconsin
Wisconsin Paid Family Leave

Fairness for Pregnant Workers in NY State

For immediate release:

 Tuesday May 5, 2015

 

For more information:

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(212) 430-5982

 

Pregnancy Accommodations Become Law in New York—Empire State Joins Growing Movement to Guarantee Fairness for Pregnant Workers

 

Albany, N.Y.—With a unanimous vote, the New York State Assembly today passed legislation to guarantee pregnant workers the right to reasonable accommodations in the workplace. The legislation was part of Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Agenda and he is expected to sign the bill into law later this month, making New York the latest in a string of states to enact laws protecting the rights of pregnant workers.

Dina Bakst, Co-Founder and Co-President of A Better Balance, who has been pushing for this bill since 2012, said: “Now thousands of New York women will be able to quickly get the modest accommodations they need to stay healthy and employed, providing crucial support to their families who increasingly rely on mothers as breadwinners.”

The new law will help women who, like Bakst’s client Betzaida Cruz Cardona, are pushed out of work, and often into financial dire straits, when they ask for a minor adjustment to their work duties or hours in order to protect their health and that of their pregnancy. 

New York becomes the ninth state since 2013 to guarantee pregnant workers the right to reasonable accommodations, filling a gap in existing law that left many pregnant women and new mothers out of a job when they needed it most to support their families.  Many of these bills, including New York’s, garnered widespread bipartisan support, indicating rare consensus across the political spectrum.

Congress is expected to take up the issue soon with reintroduction of the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.  Since the bill was last introduced in 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruled, in the case of Young v. UPS, that employers may not fail to accommodate pregnant workers while accommodating other non-pregnant workers when doing so imposes a significant burden on pregnant women and the employer lacks a strong non-discriminatory reason to impose the burden.

While the Court’s ruling was a win for Peggy Young, it left a murky legal landscape for most pregnant workers seeking accommodations.  Laws like the one passed today in New York clarify the legal standard and set the stage for Congressional action.

 

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Leave Quiz

 

Coming in Summer 2014... Babygate, a book that tells you what you really need to know about pregnancy and parenting in the American workplace.

How well do you know your rights? Take our Pop Quiz about Leave to find out

True or False
  1. In 2008, 16 percent of employees were offered six-weeks of fully paid maternity leaves, up from just 10 percent a decade ago.
  2. Depending on which state you live in, you can get about $1,000 a week in benefits while on leave—or nothing.
  3. About 60 percent of U.S. workers are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  4. Employers covered by the FMLA are not required to tell you about your options. It is your responsibility to know your rights.
  5. In businesses that are covered by the FMLA, every full-time employee meeting the requirements is entitled to his or her job back regardless of title or salary.
  6. If you take FMLA leave, but ultimately decide to stay home with your baby and not return to your position, you may have to refund your employer the cost of your medical benefits.
  7. A same-sex partner cannot take FMLA leave for a new baby even if the couple is legally married because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
  8. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have laws that mirror the FMLA or expand on its protections.
Answer Key:
  1. False. The 16 percent figure is actually down from 27 percent, according to the Families and Work Institute.
  2. True. Location, location, location. Benefits vary by state.
  3. True. However, 78 percent of workers who need leave don’t take it because they can’t afford to, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families
  4. False. They have to post about the law conspicuously and put it in any employee handbooks or otherwise distribute it to any new employees.
  5. False. If you are a “key employee,” defined as the top 10 percent of employees based on salary, you are not guaranteed your job back after taking FMLA leave. A CEO can be let go because she takes maternity leave under the FMLA. 
  6. True. Even if you do return to work, but then decide to quitwithin thirty days, your employer can reclaim from you all the money it spent on your health insurance premiums while you were out on leave.
  7. False. A LGBT partner can take FMLA leave to care for a newborn or seriously ill child even if she/he is not legally or biologically related to the child. The Department of Labor recently clarified that an LGBT parent who is raising a child is eligible to take FMLA leave to bond with or care for that child. So as long as the partner plays the role of a parent to the child, she/he can take FMLA leave to care for him or her.
  8. False. Just 10 states and DC provide laws for unpaid time off.


Tell us how you did! email us at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Learn more about the book!

Back to Work Quiz

Coming in May... Babygate, a new book that tells you what you really need to know about pregnancy and parenting in the American workplace.

Transitioning Back to Work

True or False
  1. In 1971, The US Congress passed a bill to establish a national day care system in the United States.
  2. Today, nearly four in ten moms are the primary breadwinnerfor their families.
  3. Employers can make all nursing employees pump their breast milk in the bathroom.
  4. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 5 and 10 percent of mothers report postpartum depression symptoms.
  5. About 70 percent of workers who have sick time cannot use it to care for their children when they are ill.
  6. At every income level, childcare costs are among the top seven expenses for families.
  7. Research shows that offering employees flexible work arrangements increases productivity and shareholder returns.
Answer Key
  1. True. President Nixon vetoed it.
  2. True. Even more are co-breadwinners.
  3. False. If the employee is covered by the Federal Labor Standards Act then she is entitled to pump in a private space other than the bathroom.
  4. False. It’s actually more than that: Between 10 and 25 percent of mothers report postpartum depression symptoms.
  5. Unfortunately this is true.
  6. False. Childcare costs rank among the top three—along with housing and food.
  7. True!


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Learn more about the book!

 

United States vs The World Quiz

Coming in Summer 2014... Babygate, a book that tells you what you really need to know about pregnancy and parenting in the American workplace.

The United States v. The World

1. In which country are a set of parents entitled to 480 days of paid leave per child at 80 percent of their salaries?
  1. Ireland
  2. France
  3. Sweden
  4. The United States
2. Which of these countries doesn’t guarantee some leave with pay to women in connection with childbirth?
  1. Afghanistan, which has a 26 percent literacy rate and 9 million people living on less than one dollar a day,
  2. Djibouti, an African nation plagued by civil war and drought that is home to many nomadic herders,
  3. The Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the poorest nations in the world, or 
  4. The United States.
3. How may of the worlds’ countries offer paternity leave or the right to paid parental leave for fathers?
  1. 20
  2. 57
  3. 74
  4. None
4. Which country offers new moms 26 days of paid leave at 100 percent of their salary?
  1. Kazakhstan
  2. Papua New Guinea
  3. Lesotho
  4. Swaziland
5. Of 196 countries in the world, how many guarantee a minimum number of paid sick days?
  1. 43
  2. 89
  3. 163
  4. None
6. Which country was named the best country for work-life balance?
  1. Denmark
  2. Sweden
  3. France
  4. United States
7. In which country do people work the fewest hours?
  1. Belgium
  2. Unites States
  3. Netherlands
  4. Spain
Answer Key:
  1. C. And they can take time off of work for long continuous periods, for single days or parts of days, until the child reaches eight years.
  2. D. The Unites States.
  3. C. Of the 178 countries offering some sort of paid maternity leave, 74 offer a form of paid leave to Dads too. The US isn’t one of them.
  4. A. The other three join the US as the only countries that offer no paid leave.
  5. B. Many provide a week or more per year for personal health needs. The US is not among them.
  6. A. With the lowest child-poverty rate among developed nations, Denmark was ranked number one by the OECD.
  7. B. People in the Netherlands work 1,378 hours a year, far below the OECD average of 1,739 hours a year.


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Learn more about the book!

 

City Councilmembers Introduce Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

Pregnant_Worker City Councilmembers Introduce Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. City Councilmembers Vacca, Palma, Rose, & Lander introduced the NYC Pregnant Workers Fairness Act on November 27, 2012, a bill that will protect pregnant workers in all five boroughs who need a simple modification to stay healthy and on the job. Read our fact sheet and press release.

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