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Family Medical Leave Act
Quick Hit
Wed Feb 5

Op-Ed: As The FMLA Turns 21, Efforts To Build On Its Success Are Stronger – And More Important – Than Ever

The following is from Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families.

One year ago today, workers, advocates and lawmakers across the country recognized the historic 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by celebrating its tremendous success in allowing workers to take job-protected, unpaid leave more than 100 million times. We called on lawmakers to prioritize policies that advance family friendly policies in America. Today, on the law’s 21st anniversary, we can point to considerable progress.

Now more than ever, the country is well positioned to build on the success of the FMLA. Nationwide, seven paid sick days laws and three paid family leave programs are in place.* Since this time last year, Colorado and California expanded access to their state FMLA laws; Portland, Ore.New York CityJersey City, N.J., and the District of Columbia established new paid sick days standards; Rhode Island became the third state with a paid family leave program; and there have been exciting and promising campaigns around similar policies in more than 20 other jurisdictions. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Dec 2, 2013

National Report: Many Domestic Workers Struggle To Make Ends Meet Due To Low Wages, Few Benefits

The country's growing number of in-home workers are more likely to live in poverty compared to those in other occupations due to low wages and the lack of benefits they typically receive, a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows.

In 2012, there were nearly 2 million domestic workers, such as nannies, house cleaners and caregivers, most of whom were women and disproportionately immigrant, according to the report. Overall, in-home workers made up 1.6 percent of the nation's total workforce last year.

Many in-home workers are susceptible to exploitation on the job because they typically do not have employment contracts with their employer and often work in the shadows, the report noted.

“In-home workers, who are mostly female and largely women of color and immigrants, are a critical and growing part of the economy, yet they are grievously underpaid and lack the benefits that similar workers receive in other sectors,” EPI economist and the report's author Heidi Shierholz said in a statement. “Our country is wealthy enough so that workers who play such vital caretaking roles should be able to earn a decent wage. We need policies to protect these workers and help ensure they’re paid what they deserve.” Read more »