We authored and sent a letter to the Senate expressing our strong opposition to the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett— signed by 95 groups that support the rights of workers to care for themselves and their loved ones without compromising their economic security. As we express in the letter, the rushed confirmation process currently underway is a disgrace. It undermines the significance of the Supreme Court as an institution and disrespects Justice Ginsburg’s legacy. Furthermore, Judge Barrett’s record has made clear that she is opposed to the rights of working people and unsympathetic to the needs of their families—being a successful woman and mother does not make Judge Barrett an appropriate successor to Justice Ginsburg.
There are so many important questions that Presidential debate moderators should ask candidates in 2020. Chief among them must be questions centered on how to advance justice so workers can care for themselves and their loved ones, without jeopardizing their economic security. Chris Wallace, the moderator for the first Presidential Debate on September 29th, has already announced several topics including COVID-19, the economy, the Supreme Court, and race relations in America. Many of these issues directly intersect with the needs of working families and their economic security—and we urge prioritizing the following 5 key questions.
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA - H.R. 2694) in a strong bipartisan vote. The PWFA would provide an explicit right for pregnant workers to request reasonable accommodations to stay healthy and safe in the workplace, unless it would constitute an undue hardship on the employer.
In March, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), a new federal law providing emergency paid leave to covered workers for certain COVID-related purposes. Last month, in response to an action by the New York Attorney General’s office, the Southern District of New York issued a decision striking down several elements of the US Department of Labor’s regulations issued under the FFCRA. Recently, the Department of Labor issued new revised regulations, which make several changes in response to the court’s decision, along with corresponding updates to the frequently asked questions. These new regulations will become effective immediately upon their formal publication in the Federal Register, expected to occur on February 16.
Big news: Following almost nine years of advocacy, this Thursday, the House will vote on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act—a long overdue bill to guarantee pregnant workers a right to reasonable, medically-necessary accommodations and prevent employers from pushing pregnant workers off the job. With limited guidance on the health risks of COVID-19 on pregnancy and with more and more pregnant workers desperately needing income, it’s more important than ever that pregnant workers can stay healthy and working during the pandemic and beyond. Will you take action today? Tell your legislators that no one should have to choose between their job and a healthy pregnancy—not during a pandemic, not ever.
In early March as COVID-19 was just beginning to spread in the U.S., we listed the 7 states and 11 cities and counties that give workers access to paid sick time that can be used when their workplace or child’s school or place of care is closed for a public health emergency. Since then, and as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, an increasing number of jurisdictions have enacted emergency paid sick time laws. A Better Balance is tracking these emergency sick time developments nationwide.
Children across the country are headed back to school. Amidst what is an extremely challenging time for parents, and regardless of whether your child will be attending school in person, continuing virtual instruction, a combination, or an uncertain future, you may have questions about your workplace rights. Here are the 10 legal protections you should know about.
Judge Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York issued a decision striking down key regulatory restrictions on the ability of workers to use their emergency paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The decision comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General’s office challenging elements of the Department of Labor’s regulations that significantly impair the ability of workers to use their rights. As the New York Attorney General remarked on Twitter of this decision, “This is a major victory for workers across New York and our entire nation.”
As the pandemic continues to threaten the lives and livelihoods of workers across the country, we must take action. Congress must pass the HEROES Act and enact a strong federal paid leave program for all workers and their families. So before the August recess, ask your U.S. Senators to pass the HEROES Act—and spread the word! As proud leading members of the Paid Leave for All campaign, we urge everyone to take action this week so we can work together towards paid leave for all working people.
Our new publication, Families First: Workers' Voices During the Pandemic, features the narratives of dozens of workers we've spoken with through our free legal helpline who are struggling to protect their health, care for their families, and stay afloat economically during these unprecedented times. Featured within are stories from workers across 26 states, many of whom have been unable to access emergency leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) due to significant loopholes in the law, and are left with little recourse to avoid jeopardizing their health or their economic security.