Paid leave and paycheck fairness: Your Labor Day civic action to-do list for 9-3-19

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As we head back to work after celebrating Labor Day, it is important to recognize that workplace equity remains elusive -- women make up 59% of the low-wage workforce, only 24% of female CEOs in the US are women and they earn only ¾ of what male CEOs earn, and women on average make 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. Here are three policies that, if enacted, would make a real difference.

3. Paid Family Leave: Every parent deserves time off to care for a new child, but only 17 percent of workers in the United States have access to paid family leave. Without income millions of parents are forced to return to work only days or weeks after having a child.

In a nutshell: The U.S. is one of only three countries in the world that does not mandate paid time off for new parents. The Family and Medical Leave Act isn’t doing enough to support new parents in our workforce, only guaranteeing job security and up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave isn’t enough.

Take Action: Call your senators and representative and tell them co-sponsor the FAMILY Act, a bill that helps meet the needs of all new parents by providing up to 12 weeks of partially paid leave through a shared national fund!

2. Paycheck Fairness: The gender wage gap is closing at a glacial pace, at the current rate women won’t receive equal pay for another 40 years, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research!

In a nutshell: The Equal Pay Act of 1963 made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to women and men who perform substantially equal work, and yet over twenty-five years later women are still paid only 80 cents to every dollar a man earns.

Take Action: Tell your senators to support the House passed, Paycheck Fairness Act, to help break harmful patterns of pay discrimination and strengthen workplace protections for women!

1. Paid Sick/Safe Days: 34 million Americans work at jobs without paid sick time. When they get sick they have a difficult decision to make – stay home and lose their job or go to work sick. No one should have to choose between their health and their job!

In a nutshell: Congress needs to make sure that ALL employees are able to earn paid sick days that can be used to recover from for their own illnesses, access preventative care, or provide care to a sick family member. And, if a worker is a survivor of domestic violence or sexual assault, they should be able to use the paid sick time to recover or seek assistance related to the incident.

Take Action: Ask your senators and representative to co-sponsor the Healthy Families Act!

Action AlertDanielle Cantor