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Emergency Paid Leave: The Way Forward

Since the COVID-19 pandemic took root in the U.S. in March, federal, state, and local officials have sought to enact legislative solutions to help the nation through this unfathomable crisis. A Better Balance has been working at every level of government to advance policies, including COVID-19 emergency paid leave laws, to ensure that workers aren’t forced to choose—during a pandemic and national crisis—between their personal or family health and their jobs. Around the country, momentum continues to grow for emergency paid sick leave, and we’re proud to share a number of new victories.

Department of Labor Issues New Regulations on COVID Emergency Leave

In March, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), a new federal law providing emergency paid leave to covered workers for certain COVID-related purposes. Last month, in response to an action by the New York Attorney General’s office, the Southern District of New York issued a decision striking down several elements of the US Department of Labor’s regulations issued under the FFCRA. Recently, the Department of Labor issued new revised regulations, which make several changes in response to the court’s decision, along with corresponding updates to the frequently asked questions. These new regulations will become effective immediately upon their formal publication in the Federal Register, expected to occur on February 16.

Public Health Closures and Paid Sick Time: What You Should Know (Update)

In early March as COVID-19 was just beginning to spread in the U.S., we listed the 7 states and 11 cities and counties that give workers access to paid sick time that can be used when their workplace or child’s school or place of care is closed for a public health emergency. Since then, and as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, an increasing number of jurisdictions have enacted emergency paid sick time laws. A Better Balance is tracking these emergency sick time developments nationwide.

Back to School: 10 Legal Protections Every Parent Should Know

Children across the country are headed back to school. Amidst what is an extremely challenging time for parents, and regardless of whether your child will be attending school in person, continuing virtual instruction, a combination, or an uncertain future, you may have questions about your workplace rights. Here are the 10 legal protections you should know about.

Workers’ Voices Showcase Desperate Need for Paid Leave Fixes in Next COVID-19 Package

Our new publication, Families First: Workers' Voices During the Pandemic, features the narratives of dozens of workers we've spoken with through our free legal helpline who are struggling to protect their health, care for their families, and stay afloat economically during these unprecedented times. Featured within 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.

Families First: Workers’ Voices During the Pandemic

  • July 30, 2020

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,…

News for New York State Emergency Sick Leave: Interstate Travel Exemptions

In early April, New York State enacted an emergency paid sick leave law that allows workers with a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation in relation to COVID-19 (or who need to care for a minor child with such an order) to take paid leave from work. Since its passage, the law has exempted workers who were subject to quarantine because they traveled to certain countries for non-work-related reasons from the law’s protections. And recently, the law was changed to exempt certain workers who travel within the United States.

Precarious Workers & Paid Leave in the Time of Coronavirus

The FFCRA's groundbreaking paid leave provisions provide essential protections to millions of workers, but a combination of statutory and regulatory exceptions potentially leave out as many as 106 million employees nationwide. For precarious workers who too often fall through the cracks of workplace protections, like temporary, part-time, and domestic workers, the law represents an unprecedented breakthrough with some significant and challenging gaps.

Justice for Workers: Our COVID-19 FAQ Series Can Help Workers Exercise Their Rights

Especially as governments lift stay at home orders, it is important for workers to know their rights. We have released a series of videos from our legal experts to help workers understand their rights when affected by COVID-19, so they will be empowered to exercise them. Please join us in sharing these videos with the hashtag #JusticeForWorkers.
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