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Valuing Families at Work: Key to Moving Families Out Of Poverty


Valuing Families at Work: Key to Moving Families Out Of Poverty Ellen Bravo Family Values _at_ Work Consortium June 29, 2010 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Valuing Families at Work: Key to Moving Families Out Of Poverty

Valuing Families at WorkKey to Moving Families
Out Of Poverty
  • Ellen Bravo
  • Family Values _at_ Work Consortium
  • June 29, 2010

Families Need Paid Time Off
  • to stay attached to the workforce
  • to make work pay
  • to build assets
  • to enhance child and senior well-being
  • to restore the middle class.
  • to reinforce the proper role of government.

Facts Pregnant Women in the U.S.
  • More than 60 take less than 12 weeks.
  • More than half receive no pay during leave.

Facts Paid Sick Days
  • 2/5 of the private sector workforce and 3/4 of
    low-wage workers - have no paid sick days.
  • Majority who do have PSD cant use them to care
    for sick family members.
  • Many who do have PSD get penalized for using

Facts Paid Sick Days
  • Fewer than 1 in 7 food service workers have paid
    sick days.
  • Monique Evans of Portland, ME wound up losing her
    job when her daughter had the flu and she was
    told, Come in anyway.

Background 1940-1960s
  • Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) funds
    introduced in 5 states Rhode Island, New
    Jersey, New York, California, Hawaii.
  • Pregnancy was not included.
  • NJ lumped with injuries that were willfully
    self-inflicted or incurred during the
    perpetration of a high misdemeanor.

Background 1976
  • Supreme Court says pregnancy has nothing to do
    with sex not covered by Title VII.

Background 1978
  • Congress passed Pregnancy Discrimination Act
  • Cant fire women for being pregnant but you
    dont have to hold their jobs.
  • Pregnancy like other temporary disabilities but
    most women work for firms with no short-term
    disability plans.
  • Mothers arent the only parent.
  • Newborns arent the only ones needing care.

TDI States Added Pregnancy
  • After the PDA, every TDI state added pregnancy
    and childbirth-related disability.
  • All working women in these 5 states now receive
    paid maternity leave of 2-4 weeks pre-birth, 6-8
    weeks post-birth, as recommended by the woman's
  • Still a problem for workers in non-TDI states.

Background 1993
  • Congress passed FMLA
  • 12 weeks leave to care for for new child,
    seriously ill child, spouse or elderly parent, or
    personal illness.
  • Includes job guarantee and health insurance.
  • Broader than maternity and includes men.

Problems with FMLA
Half the private sector workforce isnt covered. Doesnt cover siblings, same-sex partners.
Doesnt cover routine illness. Its unpaid.
Guess Which Countries Lack Paid Maternity Leave?
  • Bangladesh
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • India
  • Iran
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • U.S.
  • Zambia

How the US Stacks Up on Paid Maternity Leave
  • 100 Pay
  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Cameroon
  • India
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Zambia
  • Partial Pay
  • Canada 50 weeks, 55
  • Botswana 12 weeks 25
  • Iran, 16 weeks, 66
  • Mongolia 17 weeks, 70
  • No Pay
  • Swaziland
  • U.S.

How U.S. Compares on Paid Sick Days
  • 163 countries offer paid sick days.
  • Of the 15 most competitive countries, all but
    U.S. offer paid sick days.
  • 11 of the 13 OECD countries with lowest
    unemployment rates provide paid sick leave.
  • Most offer 30 days or more.

We Need Government Action
  • Reclaim role of government to protect the people,
    create minimum labor standards.
  • Circumstances and values have shifted -- we need
    new rules.

State Policies Expand FMLA
  • Expand who gets leave and for what purposes
  • Cover smaller employers
  • Broaden definition of family
  • Add use for events related to school and medical
    appointments, domestic violence
  • Make leave affordable with family leave insurance
    fund (FLI).
  • Expand existing TDI funds to include leave for
    all purposes in FMLA.
  • Create new fund apply for DOL grants to states.
  • .

State and Local Policies Paid Sick Days
  • Ensure a minimum number of job-protected paid
    sick days (PSD).
  • Include all workers.
  • Include care of family members broadly defined.
  • Include time to deal with effects of domestic
    violence and sexual assault.
  • Flexible Care or Family Care allow use of
    existing PSD to care for sick family members.

Other State and Local Policies
  • Expand eligibility for UI to include part-timers,
    those who lose job because of family care.
  • Expand definition of good jobs to include
    family-flexible policies.
  • Use of public dollars ARRA
  • Green jobs
  • Community benefits agreements
  • Part-time parity.
  • End mandatory overtime.
  • Restrict family responsibility discrimination.

Laying the Groundwork
  • Weve made important strides
  • We won family leave or parental leave insurance
    in California, Washington, New Jersey.
  • Were close to winning family leave insurance in
    New York.
  • Several states have expanded state FMLA laws.
  • We won paid sick days in San Francisco, District
    of Columbia, Milwaukee.
  • A win is possible in New York City,
  • Several states have passed Family Care Act (use
    of sick days to care for sick family members).
  • Bills are pending in many states and
  • A number of national bills are pending.
  • The federal budget proposal includes 50 million
    for money to states for paid family leave funds.

How to Get There Lessons from Organizing in the
Involving Those Affected
  • We involved those affected by the issues in every
    stage of the work.
  • Not just the face but the heart and driver of our

Demonstrate Real Needs
  • Our organizing, research, polling demonstrated a
    need for new minimum standards.

Demonstrate Policies Are Good for Business
  • Cost of replacement 150 for salaried, 5500
    even for 8/hr workers
  • Low-income mothers with paid leave have higher
    earnings and more likely to be employed. Heather
  • Not a favor to women a better way to do
    business cuts turnover, presenteeism, improves
    quality and productivity.

Building Power
  • We built strong coalitions from groups focused
  • labor
  • business
  • public health
  • education
  • domestic violence
  • disabilities
  • racial justice
  • economic development
  • advocates for kids, seniors.

Clear Message Rooted in Values
  • We worked with message experts to create common
  • Its time to value families at work.
  • No one should have to choose between the job they
    need and the family they love.
  • Everyone gets sick not everyone has the right
    to get well.
  • You dont want to be served flu with your food.
  • Policies that value families are good for the
    bottom line.

New Media Tools
  • Activists tell their stories through 1000 Voices
    Archives, made possible by a partnership with
    Creative Counsel.
  • http//
  • Working Families Story Bank audio and photos.
  • http//

  • Policy experts helped document the facts and we
    put faces to them.
  • We showed lack of standards hurts everyone, with
    a disproportionate impact on women, low-wage
    workers, and workers of color.
  • New emphasis linking to health care cost
    containment, job security.

Progressive Employers
  • We found allies among employers who helped make
    the business case.
  • Were challenging the primacy of corporate
    lobbyists - to create wedge, stop employer
    identity theft.

Winning Champions
  • We educated progressive policymakers who became
  • We helped expand the scope of work for many
    progressive organizations.

Creating Change
  • We helped change the policy environment,
    including how voters view the role of government.
  • We linked our campaigns with the need for

We Found Support
  • Support from National Foundations such as Ford
    and Annie E. Casey
  • helped leverage local and state support.

Sharing Innovation
  • New model of sharing funding.
  • We share strategies, tactics, framing, resources.
  • We share innovative new approaches.

Milwaukee Ground Campaign, Use of Media
  • We spoke to thousands of people and used
    billboards, bus ads, 200,000 post cards in
    multiple languages, yard signs, ads on community
    radio, weekly media events, as part of an
    extensive ground campaign in the community.

Georgia Kids and Seniors
  • We engaged school children in art and essay
    contests, visits to lawmakers for the Parent
    Protection Act.
  • We got a seniors group involved We need our
    adult children to take us to dr. appointments.
    Hospital official agrees.

Maine Working Womens Voter Guide, Social Media
  • We developed a work and family guide for
    candidates and voters, particularly unmarried
    women in targeted communities.
  • Use of social media to
  • promote online action
  • increase turnout, gather ideas (eg, fortunes for
    cookies for legislators)
  • keep members updated
  • draw attention to good media.

California Demonstrating the Health Impact of
Sick Days
  • We worked with Human Impact Partners to develop a
    model showing connections between public policy,
    public health, and worker well-being.

New York Engaging Public Health Experts
  • Were contacting public health officials to sign
    on to family leave insurance and paid sick days,
    offer research, speak at press events or

Massachusetts - A New Take on Health Care
  • We initiated research showing how paid sick days
    can contain health care costs (cut down on ER
    use, increase preventive care, promote prompt

Illinois Holding Town Hall Meetings
  • We got YWCAs, Urban Leagues and others to host
    town hall meetings where workers speak about the
    need for paid sick days, and employers share the
    business case.

Colorado Working with CBAs, Girls
  • Helped ensure Community Benefits Agreement
    included flexibility for family care.
  • The local womens foundation, a supporter of the
    coalition, has linked us with a girls group
    which wants to focus on the Parental Involvement

Pennsylvania Engaging a Local Chamber
  • Had won neutrality agreement from Delaware County
    Chamber of Commerce. The chair committed to a
    roundtable with PathWays PA and businesses to
    discuss paid sick days.
  • Doing outreach to Philadelphia Chamber,
    individual businesses.

New Jersey Stopping the Baloney
  • When the NJ Business and Industry Assoc. spread
    mis- information against family leave insurance,
    the coalition delivered a loaf of bologna to
    Stop the Baloney.
  • Did research on how businesses dealt with family
    and medical leaves. Effectively countered
    business lobby claims that FLI would put NJ
    companies out of business. 

North Carolina An End Run
  • Created a Work and Family Balance Commission when
    legislative leadership created roadblocks.
  • Involved variety of disabilities groups.

Oregon Partnering with Principle
  • Developing racial justice analysis of need for
    and impact of paid family leave.
  • Learning from partners, building alliances based
    on shared interests and principles.

MN Using Social Media
  • The coalition is using facebook and twitter along
    with table top displays, postcards and other

Washington Linking Family Leave with Economic
  • Coalition is demonstrating how paid family leave
    provides economic stimulus in a downturn.
  • Piloting approach of multiple municipal

Moving Toward a Tipping Point
  • Were building the power needed to reach a
    tipping point and make sure we bring about a sea
    change for working families.

Some Key Challenges
  • Job Killer argument
  • Opponents try to exploit economic crisis
  • Undependable sponsors, compromises that carve
    out low-wage workers
  • Allies made fearful in election year

Dealing with Challenges
  • Demonstrate that our policies are job
    preservation strategies.
  • NORC study 23 lost job or told they would lose
    for taking time to care
  • FVAW fact sheet
  • Gain business partners.
  • Main Street Alliance, others
  • Expose opposition hype.
  • Link with facts on health, child and elder

Dealing with Challenges
  • Find sponsors who come from the movement, will
    remain loyal to issue.
  • Build group of allies to stand together.
  • Create caucus of those committed to issue.
  • Demonstrate the impact of carve-outs.

Dealing with Challenges
  • Share results of polls showing widespread support
    for these issues.
  • Build base of power to challenge those who let us

What It Will Take
  • Champions need work at the grassroots to make
    change at the top.
  • How well win
  • Demonstrate how policies that value families
    boost economic development.
  • Invest in organizing at the state and local
    level, with greater resources and coordination.
  • Make sure this is part of every groups agenda.

Steps to Take
  • Link with existing coalitions or individuals in
    your area already working on these issues.
  • Research how work youre doing can include time
    to care
  • ARRA funds
  • Community benefits agreement
  • Green jobs
  • Look for points of shared interest with other