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The 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic has laid bare vast systemic problems 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. We must listen to their voices, especially the voices of low-wage workers and those most marginalized, to inform policy-making in the short-term and long-term.

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. Featured below 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. Conversely, for the workers who are covered, these protections have been critical, allowing them to maintain their income and benefits while staying healthy and safe.

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