Monday, November 14, 2022

In 2012, We Can and Must Do Better

Posted by Elena del Valle on February 29, 2012

By Debra L. Ness
President, National Partnership for Women & Families

Debra L. Ness, president, National Partnership for Women & Families

Debra L. Ness, president, National Partnership for Women & Families

Photo: National Partnership for Women & Families

In last month’s State of the Union address, President Obama gave a powerful and resonant speech, issuing a ringing call for fairness, fair play and equal opportunity in our workplaces and our health care system.

President Obama was right. At this time when millions of people in this country are struggling, Congress must stop the political battles and instead advance the fair pay, job creation and other critical initiatives President Obama discussed — because they are the initiatives America needs.

As we work to create more jobs, we must ensure that new jobs pay fair wages and provide basic family friendly supports like paid sick days and paid family and medical leave. Right now, too many workers can lose pay or be fired just for taking time off to recover from illness or care for a sick child. Latino workers confront this reality at disproportionate rates: nearly 12 million Latino workers – almost 60 percent of the Latino workforce — don’t have a single paid sick day to use to recover from common illnesses. Many more lack paid sick days to care for a sick child, forcing them to make the terrible choice between leaving a sick child alone or sending him or her to school, or losing a paycheck or possibly even a job. A paid sick days standard would help to alleviate these choices for millions of families.

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