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Time to Care: What Families Need for Work to Work Ellen Bravo Multi-States Working Families Consortium.

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Presentation on theme: "Time to Care: What Families Need for Work to Work Ellen Bravo Multi-States Working Families Consortium."— Presentation transcript:

1 Time to Care: What Families Need for Work to Work Ellen Bravo Multi-States Working Families Consortium

2 Being a Good Family Member Can Cost You Your Job Families have changed – workplace hasnt kept pace. Not enough time to care: kids, seniors, families suffer Affects many, but especially low-wage

3 Time to Care Reframe from marginalized womens issues to key family values Understand roots in problem public and corporate policies Work for change.

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

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

6 Background: 1978 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.

7 Background: 1993 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.

8 Problems with FMLA Nearly half the private sector workforce isnt covered Doesnt cover siblings, same-sex partners Doesnt cover routine illness Its unpaid.

9 Which Countries Lack Paid Leave? Bangladesh Botswana Brazil Cameroon Canada India Iran Mexico Mongolia Netherlands Norway Swaziland Sweden U.S. Zambia

10 How the US Stacks Up 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.

11 Background: Sick Days Half the workforce – and ¾ of low-wage workers - have no paid sick days. Many who do cant use them to care for sick family members.

12 Background: 1996 Welfare as we know it is ended -- by those whove never known it. TANF is modeled on conditions of low- wage women. Aimed to cut rolls, not poverty

13 New Glass Ceiling Study by Joan Williams and Nancy Segal New form of sex discrimination – unequal treatment of mothers. Affects fathers as well.

14 Attitudes: Loose Lips Trezza v. Hartford, Inc. - Employer told plaintiff he didnt believe mothers should work: "I don't see how you can do either job well. Bailey v. Scott-Gallaher, Inc. - Employer told her she had been terminated because she was no longer dependable since she had delivered a child. Knussman v. Maryland - Trooper Knussmans supervisor said his wife would have to be in a coma or dead for a man to qualify as the primary caregiver.

15 Institutional Policies and Practices Lack of Policies If the kids are sick and sent home from school, theres no place for them to go. The school called and said I had to get my 5-year-old daughter. I was fired. -DeNice, rural county outside Eau Claire, WI

16 Lack of Policies I had 4 jobs - I drove a school bus, delivered newspapers, worked with the Girl Scouts, and sold Tupperware. None of the jobs had benefits. I had to make hard choices about supporting my kids instead of spending time with them. - Julia, Milwaukee

17 Problem Policies Contd Lack of Flexibility : Increase in non-standard shifts Not allowed to make up time Rigid use of personal days At the fringes: Even best list companies fall short Policies for managers only Depends on manager discretion

18 Problem Practices Contd Objective requirements affecting women differently Example: tenure clock Based on stereotyped view of ideal worker: Lawrence Summers

19 Policies Available But Inequitable Part-time Report: I work 30 hours as an engineer and love my work. But benefits for part-timers are very limited - insurance has a significantly higher premium, vacation and sick time are cut in half regardless of hours worked. I lost tuition reimbursement & paid maternity leave. Holiday pay was just eliminated. Ive been promoted 3 times, but have hit the limit. -Jane, Madison

20 Corporate Culture I spent 13 years at a large corporation. You have to be willing to give it all to the company. There are no role models of women with young kids in upper management. They wanted me to fly somewhere on July 4th. When I told them I had family plans, they were aghast. I left and opened my own business. - Julie, Milwaukee

21 Corporate Culture Contd Home Alone 3 Jack Welch: lip service only:People who publicly struggle with work-life balance problems and continually turn to the company for help get pigeonholed as ambivalent, entitled, uncommitted, incompetent – or all of the above.

22 Impact on Parents – and Kids Work cant pay if it doesnt last – and it cant last if it jeopardizes kids. Cost of starting over.

23 Impact on Children Kids go to school sick. Kids send themselves to school sick. Health and learning problems become disabilities.

24 Whats at Stake for Low-Wage Workers High cost of being poor Ability to keep a job, build assets Well-being of children and families High costs for employers

25 Whats at Stake for Women Low-income women average much less pay than male counterparts, partly because of job loss due to family care. This is one reason the U.S. has the highest child-poverty rate in the industrialized world.

26 Redesign the Building core instead of fringe, how work designed change concept success make formal, available to all make affordable, accessible quality part-time - equity in pay, benefits, advancement accountability for managers

27 Guarantee for All Some smart employers will do this on their own – e.g, SAS Not all – like asking 2-year-olds to determine when they need a time out.

28 Solutions: Public Policies ensure affordable leave – use it or lose it include routine illness, Healthy Families Act expand definition family – same-sex, sibs, etc. raise the wage floor re-value caregiving work ensure equity for part-timers create right to request flexible schedules end mandatory overtime

29 Public Policy Changes Child Care: Public investment Improve quality After-school care

30 DONT: Erode the 40-hour work week Gut the FMLA

31 Multi-State Working Families Consortium Eight state coalitions: California, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Washington and Wisconsin Collaborating for more effective action, raise public awareness.

32 Making Progress in the States Winning forms of paid leave expanding TDI to include family leave: California New Jersey New York creating new form of social insurance: Washington Massachusetts

33 Making Progress in the States Making progress on guaranteeing protection: Sick days: Massachusetts All of us Family Care: Maine FMLA for school activities: Georgia Wisconsin

34 Making Progress in the States Expanding UI for part- timers, family hardship Maine Georgia Wisconsin Exposing efforts to gut FMLA: Rapid Response Team

35 Increased Collaboration Connecting the dots: Labor. Women. Seniors. Progressive employers. Family physicians. Faith-based. Disabilities groups. Chronic disease. Alzheimers Associations. AIDS groups. Mental health organizations. PTAs. Principals. School boards. Social workers. Cities/counties groups. Citizen Action. Welfare rights/anti-poverty groups. Childrens groups. Foster children. Work-family researchers. Legal groups. Parents of adult disabled. Adoption groups. Immigrant advocates. Groups in communities of color. Human Rights groups. Non-profit associations. Insurers. Womens business associations. AAUW. YWCA. Planned Parenthood.

36 Agree its time to care. Lay the groundwork for policy change. Redefine issues – link what happens to kids, families with what happens to parents at work. Need Leadership On Capitol Hill

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