Pride 2024: A Time for Action and Advocacy for All Families

We wish you and your families, loved ones, and communities a happy Pride Month!
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This month, A Better Balance is celebrating Pride by reflecting on the history of the movement for LGBTQ rights and working towards a future where all workers can be supported in the workplace and beyond as they care for themselves and those closest to them. 

Over the last several years, there have been mounting attacks against queer and trans individuals and families in states across the country. As we support our LGBTQ-led partners in mobilizing against these attacks on human rights, we are also acutely aware that the fight for fairer, more supportive workplaces is deeply intertwined with the movement for LGBTQ equity and equality. We recently authored and released a report with our partners at Equality Federation and the Local Solutions Support Center titled “Preempting LGBTQ+ Rights: How States Undermine Local Leadership and Innovation on LGBTQ+ Equality,” which explores how state-level interference (known as preemption) in cities’ authority to pass protections for LGBTQ individuals, as well as to pass stronger work-family laws. The report also shares strategies for organizing and mobilizing against abusive preemption, and defending and advancing LGBTQ+ rights – strategies which also can be utilized to advance and protect local policies like paid sick time, paid family and medical leave, and fair and flexible scheduling.

This June marks the first Pride Month with the landmark Pregnant Workers Fairness Act’s protections fully in effect, extending the right to reasonable workplace accommodations to pregnant and postpartum workers nationwide. Critically, this bill – as well as the PUMP Act, which provides the right to break time and space to pump milk to millions of workers nationwide – uses gender neutral language, meaning that queer and transgender parents who do not identify as women can still utilize these critical protections. We also know that LGBTQ workers often face unique struggles in the workplace. Policies that allow workers to manage their health and caregiving needs without sacrificing their paycheck are critical to keeping LGBTQ individuals attached to the workforce, as well as to employer-provided benefits like health insurance, which are especially vital for those who need gender affirming healthcare.

While we celebrate the progress we’ve made towards more equitable workplaces for all, we know that there is still work to be done: In addition to continuing to mobilize to defend LGBTQ rights, we are also still fighting for a federal right to paid family and medical leave and paid sick time, critical protections for all workers caring for themselves and their loved ones. We are proud to have passed numerous state paid family and medical leave laws and paid sick time laws with inclusive definitions of family that cover chosen family bonds, which is especially critical for LGBTQ workers who might rely on kinship bonds that aren’t biological or legal. Still, we must work to ensure that every worker nationwide can access strong, equitable, inclusive protections when they need to take time off work for their own medical needs or to care for a loved one.

This June, we wish you and your families, loved ones, and communities a happy Pride, and promise to continue fighting for LGBTQ rights in the workplace and beyond. 

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