Building on changes to paid family and medical leave that many states saw beginning in January 2020, July marks new developments as well. Beginning July 1, workers in Washington, D.C. will be able to take paid family and medical leave benefits under the District’s universal paid leave program—a much needed development as the country continues to battle with COVID-19. Also beginning July 1, workers in California will be able to take up to 8 weeks of family leave benefits in a 12-month period. Similarly, workers in New Jersey will see an increase in the amount of family leave benefits that they’ll be able to take.
Today, we honor the millions of men in this country who care for children, and the millions more who provide care for an older family member or sick loved one. For dads and caregivers like Jeffrey everywhere, now more than ever, knowing their rights is critical. For example, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act covers many workers with paid sick leave to care for themselves and their loved ones when affected by the coronavirus, as well as paid family leave for use when a child’s school or place of care is closed.
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.
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.
The Metropolitan Council of Nashville, TN recently passed a resolution urging all employers in the city to provide immediate paid sick leave to their workers. The resolution further calls on Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly to restore legal authority for local governments to decide whether to guarantee paid leave within their cities.
In March, Congress passed a new law called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Among other emergency protections, the law creates new tax credits for freelancers and other self-employed people to compensate for lost income when you cannot work for certain coronavirus-related reasons. Here’s what freelancers need to know about how to access these credits.
In the midst of COVID-19, pregnant workers and new moms, especially those on the front lines or returning to workplaces as states re-open — deserve more than our gratitude this Mother's Day. They deserve better laws and policies, and, importantly, they need to feel empowered to advocate for their needs and rights. That’s why, day in and day out, we are supporting countless pregnant women and new moms facing uncertainty and fear as the pandemic rages by listening, taking action, and empowering workers to know their rights.
Knowledge is power! Our legal experts have put together three new know-your-rights FAQs for workers who are affected by COVID-19, addressing paid sick leave, pregnancy, and more. We are working to ensure all workers and families have the protections they need under the law, both during this crisis and beyond. If you have questions about your legal rights, contact our free legal helpline.
Working people in the South have some of the fewest legal protections for their health and economic security in the country. For example, Southern workers are less likely to have access to paid leave than those in other regions. While recent federal legislation provides some workers with critical new rights in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, major gaps remain, and Southern lawmakers must act to fill those gaps.
In an open letter released today, A Better Balance, Oxfam, and other labor and health advocacy leaders call on the poultry industry to put into place stronger safety measures and protections for its workers. The recent alarming news that COVID-19 is spreading in poultry plants has highlighted the urgent need for action to ensure the U.S.'s 250,000 poultry workers—who are too often overlooked and undervalued—can stay healthy while supporting themselves and their families and keeping the nation fed.