International Youth Day is recognized in August, and as we recognize the collective power of young people entering the workforce to create more equitable, supportive workplaces, we remain committed to fighting for the protections they need in order to maintain their economic security and thrive throughout their careers.
We recently released several new fact sheets making the case for workplace protections that allow the young workers of today and tomorrow, as well as their loved ones and families, to be supported in their work:
- Closing the Wage Gap for Young Black Women – Black women have the highest labor force participation rates and are often the primary breadwinners and caregivers for their families, yet receive the least recognition for their contributions to the economy, disparities that can lead Black women to lose an estimated $964,400 over the course of a 40- year career. We must pass supportive work-family legislation in order to guarantee the long-term economic security of young people, particularly young Black women.
- The Case for Paid Family and Medical Leave for Foster Placement – Access to paid family and medical leave is critical for foster families, especially during the foster placement process. In addition to health benefits for foster children, paid family leave improves the health of foster parents, too. Ensuring paid family and medical leave programs extend to new foster parents with a recently placed foster child significantly improves outlooks for children in the foster system, and ensures that families can bond and thrive.
- Parents Caring for Adult Children Need Access to Paid Leave – Many young adults depend on their parents for care when they are sick or managing a disability. Even among adult children who do not live with their parents, a significant number still rely on them for caregiving needs, and balancing caring for their adult children with work responsibilities can be challenging for parents. Parents need paid sick time and paid family and medical leave laws that use expansive and inclusive language to ensure that they can care for their children in times of need.
- Part-Time Workers Need Paid Leave – Approximately 25 million people in the United States are employed part-time, including many young workers. Yet, part-time workers are often not covered by employer-provided workplace policies like paid family and medical leave and paid sick leave. Access to these supportive policies can help more youth join and stay connected to the workforce while balancing their health and caregiving needs. Providing part-time workers with these benefits is beneficial not only for workers, but for businesses and economies as a whole.
- The Importance of Paid Family and Medical Leave for Young Breastfeeding & Lactating Workers – Paid family and medical leave is an essential tool in establishing and sustaining breastfeeding, and this is especially true for young workers, who disproportionately work in industries without employer paid leave policies. Ensuring that all workers have a legal right to paid leave would improve health equity and encourage young workers to continue pursuing education and career growth without compromising their ability to breastfeed on their own terms.
- The Need for Paid Family and Medical Leave As A Critical Support for Young Adults’ Maternal Health – Pregnant and postpartum workers across the country now have groundbreaking new rights under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act & PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act. These protections will make a world of difference, especially for workers in low-wage, physically demanding jobs. Of course,young pregnant workers in these positions still need additional workplace supports like a national right to paid family and medical leave and paid sick time in order to care for themselves and ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy and birth while maintaining their economic security.
- Comprehensive Paid Family and Medical Leave: A Critical Measure for LGBTQ Youth – Strong paid family and medical leave programs are an especially critical measure for LGBTQ youths so that they can overcome barriers and achieve equal opportunities in the workplace, thriving and leading the way for others. Paid family and medical leave programs that cover all of a worker’s closest loved ones, including those the worker is not legally or biologically related to, provide essential support for LGBTQ youths and their family members. When workers are able to care for and be cared for by all of their closest loved ones, families are stronger.
- The Importance of a National Paid Sick Leave Law for Young Workers of Color – 28 million Americans do not have access to even a single day of paid sick leave a year, and 80% of those that do are not allowed to use those days to care for a family member. Without access to paid sick leave, workers are forced to choose between their job and caring for their health and the health of their family members, a problem that disproportionately impacts young workers of color and creates additional barriers to achieving economic security and thriving.
- The Importance of a National Right to Paid Family and Medical Leave for Young Workers of Color – Without access to paid family and medical leave, workers are often forced to choose between their job and caring for their health and the health of their family members, and can be forced into a downward cycle of poverty following a major medical event. This is a problem especially affecting young workers of color, who are more likely to hold low-paying jobs without this critical benefit. A national right to paid leave is necessary to guarantee that everyone, especially young workers of color, have the tools they need to protect their health and that of their family, as well as their economic security.
As we continue fighting for the supportive policies all workers nationwide need, we remain dedicated to highlighting how these supports will benefit the workers of tomorrow, creating more equity in the workforce and ensuring nobody is forced to choose between their paycheck and their health or caregiving needs.