Although results are still coming in nationally, the outcome of Colorado’s election is settled. We are thrilled to share with you that Colorado voters made history by overwhelmingly approving a paid family and medical leave ballot initiative, which A Better Balance drafted and helped to pass! Colorado now joins 8 states, and Washington D.C., that have passed paid family and medical leave laws—and Colorado is the first to have done so through a ballot initiative.
La Ley de Licencia Familiar Pagada de Nueva York (“NYPFL” por sus siglas en inglés) le garantiza a la mayoría de trabajadores del sector privado —incluyendo a los trabajadores a tiempo parcial — que trabajan en el estado de Nueva York el derecho a usar tiempo pagado fuera del trabajo para vincularse con un nuevo hijo, cuidar a un familiar gravemente enfermo, o cuidar de ciertas necesidades familiares de miembros del ejército, sin arriesgar su trabajo o su seguro médico.
As Election Day rapidly approaches, voters across Colorado have the opportunity to approve an initiative — Proposition 118 — that will establish a statewide paid family and medical leave program. And there are several ways for you to get involved! Only 1 in 5 Coloradans have access to paid family and medical leave to care for a new child, recover from a serious health condition, or care for a seriously ill loved one. The pandemic has shown that this ballot initiative is needed now, more than ever.
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.
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.
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.
Building on changes to paid family and medical leave that many states saw beginning in January 2020, July marks new developments as well. Beginning July 1, workers in Washington, D.C. will be able to take paid family and medical leave benefits under the District’s universal paid leave program—a much needed development as the country continues to battle with COVID-19. Also beginning July 1, workers in California will be able to take up to 8 weeks of family leave benefits in a 12-month period. Similarly, workers in New Jersey will see an increase in the amount of family leave benefits that they’ll be able to take.
Today, we honor the millions of men in this country who care for children, and the millions more who provide care for an older family member or sick loved one. For dads and caregivers like Jeffrey everywhere, now more than ever, knowing their rights is critical. For example, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act covers many workers with paid sick leave to care for themselves and their loved ones when affected by the coronavirus, as well as paid family leave for use when a child’s school or place of care is closed.
The FFCRA's groundbreaking paid leave provisions provide essential protections to millions of workers, but a combination of statutory and regulatory exceptions potentially leave out as many as 106 million employees nationwide. For precarious workers who too often fall through the cracks of workplace protections, like temporary, part-time, and domestic workers, the law represents an unprecedented breakthrough with some significant and challenging gaps.