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February 28, 2007 / allyo

Not just a mom (or woman) thing

There’s been a conversation over at Karrie’s place about issues mothers face, and an offshoot has been the question of whether mothers face any discrimination that women don’t already face. I have opinions about this, but for now, here’s an excerpt from an email I just got from I think it is a clear example how focusing on work and family issues doesn’t just benefit mothers but everyone.

The reason it’s particularly a mother’s issue is because as the email states, lack of paid sick days disproportionately affects working mothers (there’s your answer, btw, about whether mothers face “special” issues. Not outright discrimination but indicative of how little we actually value our workers and their families.). But passage of this act would make life better for many folks regardless of whether they’re women or mothers. And honestly, would drag this country a little closer to someplace we can truly be proud of calling home.

– Passage of the Healthy Families Act would guarantee 7 paid sick days to full-time workers and prorate sick days for part-time employees. The bill would apply to employers with 15 or more employees. Under this new law, 46 million workers would gain access to paid sick days and 1 million would gain additional paid sick days.

– No or limited paid sick days disproportionately affects working women. Almost half of working women report that they must miss work when a child is sick. And of these mothers that miss work, 49% do not get paid when caring for their sick child.

– Paid sick days are also needed to address increased responsibilities for elder care. Approximately 35% of Americans have significant elder care responsibilities, which require more than 1/3 of caregivers to reduce their work hours or take time off to provide care. These numbers will grow significantly as the Baby Boomer generation ages.

– Our public health is at stake. Many workers who have constant contact with the public do not have paid sick days. For example, 78% of food service workers and 55% of retail industry employees do not have paid sick days.

– Paid Sick Days makes financial sense. According to a recent study conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the Healthy Families Act would result in a savings (after covering the costs of paid days off) of $8 billion per year. The savings would come from reduced employee turn-over and increased productivity as a result of a healthier workforce.

DON’T FORGET TO EMAIL TODAY: Just click here for a handy pre-drafted email you can edit and use to ask your Senators and Representative to co-sponsor this bill:

— The MomsRising Team

Oh, and while you’re at it, why don’t you click on that link and send a letter? If you don’t, you’re letting the terrorists win.


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