October is National Work and Family Month, a time to prioritize a healthy balance between work and attending to one’s family, whether that means taking the time you need to care for yourself and your loved ones, being able to start or grow your family on your own terms, and being able to enjoy quality time with those closest to you.
But for many workers, balancing their family’s needs – particularly health- and caregiving-related needs – is a luxury they simply cannot afford. Many workers are forced to choose between their paycheck and being there for their loved ones in times of need due to a lack of access to supportive policies like paid family and medical leave and paid sick time. Additionally, many workers, particularly those in low-wage positions, suffer under attendance policies that punish them for taking time off work to attend to their care needs, as well as unpredictable or rigid scheduling practices that make it difficult to plan for one’s life outside of work.
As ABB Community Alma, a single mother from Washington State who works in the restaurant industry and struggles under her employer’s scheduling practices wrote in a recent Workers’ Voices blog post: “My job at the restaurant is how I feed my kids and put a roof over our heads. I try to work as many hours as I can in order to provide for them, but my employer’s scheduling practices make it extremely difficult for me to have steady, predictable hours and income.”
This Work and Family Month, we remain dedicated to fighting for work-family justice by advancing the solutions workers like Alma need and deserve. We are proud to fight alongside the workers who have bravely spoken out about the injustices they have faced due to gaps in our laws, and remain committed to providing direct support for those navigating their workplace rights via our free and confidential legal helpline.
If you have questions about protections that exist to balance your or your family’s needs with work, visit our Get Help page or call 1-833-NEED-ABB.