Save Families First: Workers’ Voices & the Need for Action

The 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic has laid bare vast systemic problems—including the care crisis—that advocates have sought to rectify for generations. Workers are speaking out about their struggles balancing protecting their health, caring for their families, and staying afloat economically during these unprecedented times. Yet, without urgent action, the emergency paid leave rights that have been a lifeline for workers will expire at the end of 2020.

As we outline in the below report, through our Free Work-Family Legal Helpline, A Better Balance has heard from hundreds of workers across the country who are facing economic insecurity and struggling to care for themselves and their loved ones due to the COVID-19 crisis.  For many workers we have spoken to, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) has been a game-changing tool that has helped keep them and their families afloat through this difficult time.

We must listen to workers’ voices, especially the voices of low-wage workers of color so often marginalized, and extend and expand these critical protections. By providing workers with paid leave when they care for their loved ones, we are taking the important step of valuing care work that goes unnoticed even though it is so critical for society and our economy to thrive.

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