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.
Parents with school-aged children quickly learn to expect the unexpected. Yet too many working parents find themselves in impossible dilemmas when a child falls ill, or when school-related meetings and events arise, due to a lack of paid time off and inflexibility in their schedules. That’s why we’re fighting for policy solutions that ensure parents can be there for their children when they need to without risking their economic security.
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.
Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down a long-awaited decision upholding Pittsburgh’s paid sick time ordinance. The City of Pittsburgh, with assistance from A Better Balance and many other community organizations, passed the ordinance nearly four years ago to the day—on August 3, 2015—but its implementation had been on hold while a lawsuit against the law made its way through the court system.
The nation’s 2.5 million domestic workers are excluded from the vast majority of federal and state laws granting basic workplace rights and protections, and there is little means of enforcing the protections they do have. This needs to change. We’re proud to support the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which would ensure that domestic workers—including nannies, house cleaners, and home care workers—have the same fundamental rights as everyone else and are not left vulnerable to exploitation.
This weekend, Oregon passed a robust and inclusive paid family & medical leave law, becoming the ninth state to do so nationwide. The law will provide up to 12 weeks of income to those who need to take time off work to recover from a serious health condition, care for a seriously ill loved one, or welcome a new child, with an additional two weeks of leave available for pregnancy-related complications.
Lame duck amendments made to the state’s paid sick leave initiative effectively gutted the law in a way that will mean that millions of Michigan workers who were originally covered by the initiative will be denied any paid sick time. Because the Michigan constitution gives Michigan voters the right to put important public issues on the ballot and because the lame duck legislature took that right away, we believe the Legislature’s changes to be unconstitutional.
Besides improving the well-being of thousands of working families in CT and ME, it’s laws like these that help pave the way for eventual federal solutions. These victories are both huge steps forward in our continuing effort to ensure that all workers can take time to care for themselves and their families without risking their economic security.
We were proud to work with the City to draft and pass paid sick days, and to expand the law to cover safe leave and expand family definitions, and we applaud the Mayor, Public Advocate, and City Council for recognizing that New Yorkers also deserve paid personal time.
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!