As the U.S. gears up to fight the spread of the Coronavirus, the CDC is advising that Americans, when sick, should not go to work or school. But the sobering reality is that for tens of millions of workers across the U.S.—especially those who are juggling caring for a family—taking a single sick day could mean being unable to afford basic necessities, or even losing a job.
In a victory for millions of workers and families, a New York State Court recently upheld New York City’s Fair Workweek law—a law ensuring low wage workers are protected from abusive, unpredictable scheduling practices that make it difficult to work and care for a family, in part by requiring employers to give their workers sufficient notice of their schedules.
Who makes a family? If you ask people throughout the U.S., the question would undoubtedly yield a wide variety of responses. Today’s families do not fit one mold – they are multi-generational, blended, LGBTQ, and span beyond legally or biologically related loved ones. Yet some policies, such as the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), have fallen short for workers and their families.
TIME writes: "At a time when there are more women than men in the U.S. workforce, Bakst says implementing fair work-life standards—including pregnancy accommodations, paid sick days, paid family and medical leave, and quality affordable childcare—is more important than ever: 'It’s absolutely essential for gender equality and for our nation’s economic security.'"
According to SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, reproductive justice is "the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” In our mission to ensure pregnant workers, caregivers, and all workers have the support they need to care for themselves and their loved ones, we strongly support and are inspired by the principles of the reproductive justice movement.
With this decision, Philadelphia’s workers will no longer be subject to questions about their salary history— a practice that enables employers to discriminate against groups that historically earn less from the outset of their careers, including women, people of color, and especially those who are mothers. In 2019, we successfully led a campaign to pass a New York State passed its own salary history ban, joining dozens of other jurisdictions in making this important step towards closing the wage gap and advancing gender equality.
Various federal, state, and local laws give certain workers who experience or are at risk of miscarriage the right to time off, to receive reasonable accommodations following a miscarriage, and to be free from discrimination by their employers because they have miscarried. This fact sheet will help you navigate your workplace rights if you have had or are at risk of having a miscarriage.
February 5th marks the 27th anniversary of the signing of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. The FMLA provides job-protected, unpaid time off for millions of American workers to care for themselves and their families, and has been used over 200 million times since its enactment. Passage of the law was an incredibly important first step, but 40 percent of workers are excluded from the FMLA’s protections. Many more cannot afford to take the unpaid leave it offers. Nearly three decades later, it’s time for the next step: paid leave for all U.S. workers.
The U.S. is facing a maternal and infant health crisis—one that is disproportionately impacting Black women and women of color—as highlighted in a recent Congressional hearing. Although this problem and its solutions are multifaceted, one key piece to addressing this crisis is the need to ensure our workplaces are safe and supportive environments for pregnant workers and mothers. Unfortunately, the reality is that too many pregnant workers and new mothers are forced to risk their health at work—especially those women in low-wage and physically demanding jobs, who are largely women of color.
If you were pregnant while you worked at Walmart and the company denied your request for a workplace accommodation between March 19, 2013, and March 5, 2014, you may be eligible for a monetary settlement. Please go to the settlement website to learn more about the proposed settlement or to file a claim in the settlement. The deadline to file a claim, opt out, or object to the settlement is February 10, 2020.