As the year comes to a close, we have many victories to celebrate! In just 2019, our work has had a major impact on millions of women, caregivers, and families.
After drawn out litigation, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year that the State’s attempts to pass legislation that prohibits cities from passing laws regarding benefits—including paid leave—violates Arizona’s paid sick and safe days ballot initiative and the Arizona Voter Protection Act. The Arizona Supreme Court has now settled the issue by refusing to interfere with the Court of Appeals decision. As a result, local governments in Arizona can pass paid leave and other benefits laws that build on all rights at the state level.
Cities have long been at the frontlines in the fight to reform the modern workplace: local communities have led the way in adopting workplace solutions like paid sick time, living wage mandates, fair scheduling requirements, and LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination policies. But in response, states are increasingly blocking, or “preempting,” local progress by stepping in and overturning progressive local laws or preventing cities from passing them in the first place.
ABB’s Senior Staff Attorney, Jared Make, has been based in Denver since last year, where he has become engaged in statewide advocacy on ABB’s issues. Now that Colorado’s 2019 legislative session has ended, we’re excited to share several recent policy advances with you!
Dallas becomes the third city in the South to pass a paid sick time ordinance. Now, workers in nine of the country’s ten most populous cities (we’re looking at you, Houston) have the legal right to earn paid sick time!
We work in cities across the country to fight for fair workplace policies such as paid leave and sick time, predictable and flexible work schedules, and nondiscrimination, which often involves helping cities defend those policies against state efforts to roll them back.
We know how important it is for cities and local communities to be able to develop and implement policies that are responsive to their own needs and for their voices to be heard at all levels of government, which is why structural, pro-democratic reforms are so crucial for progressive policymaking across issues.
The record-breaking wave of women running for office this election season and the soaring voter turnout made a difference. Last night's election results indicate many opportunities and of course some ongoing challenges to advancing the rights of women and all caregivers across the country.
Tennessee has been at the center of a number of recent preemption conflicts in recent years, from the state’s 2011 law that prohibited cities from enacting nondiscrimination policies more protective than the state’s law to a bill passed this year that will withhold state funding for cities with certain “sanctuary city” policies.
In an exciting ruling, a federal appeals court held that a group of Birmingham, AL, residents could go ahead with their lawsuit claiming that a state law rolling back Birmingham’s minimum wage increase constituted race discrimination in violation of the Constitution.