Pregnancy & Family Leave Issues
Pregnancy & Family Leave Issues
Paid Family Leave: Strong Families, Strong NY
Sign the NYS Petition
AAUW's Quick Facts on Paid Family Leave and Paid Sick Days
AAUW's Know Your Rights: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
Webinar: New York’s Families Can’t Wait The Need for Paid Family Leave 2015 - Check out the video from the excellent webinar about Paid Family Leave on June 10 sponsored by A Better Balance. Lots of great information about how PFL would positively impact families with new babies.
It Shouldn't Be a Heavy Lift for Pregnant Workers - A report A Better Balance did with the National Women's Law Center highlighting the need for stronger legal protections 35 years after passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act - highlighting 8 stories from women across the country.
To learn more about the case for family leave insurance in the United States, see the A report A Better Balance September 2013 report, Investing in Our Families: The Case for Family Leave Insurance in New York and the Nation.
8 Things to Know About Paid Leave
Updated: April 4, 2017
- New Polling Shows that Small Businesses Strongly Support Paid Family and Medical Leave - A new poll, commissioned by the Center for American Progress and Small Business Majority, shows that 70 percent of small-business owners support a national paid family and medical leave insurance program.
- Here’s why all dads should get paternity leave - Because a large swath of the American workforce is unkind to men who seek work flexibility for family life, many men confine their roles as fathers to after-work hours. Case in point: paternity leave. Despite the stunning upheaval that occurs after the birth of a baby, 76 percent of fathers are back at work within a week, according to a survey by the Boston College Center for Work and Family. The same research found that 96 percent of men are back at work after two weeks, while 13 percent do not take a single day off.
- CAP: Paid Sick Days and Paid Family and Medical Leave Are Not Job Killers - Paid sick days and paid family and medical leave are critical to the economic security of working families. And contrary to the arguments of opponents, they are also good for businesses and the economy. Research from the many U.S. cities and states that now offer paid sick days and paid family and medical leave demonstrates the positive effects of these policies on turnover, presenteeism, and productivity.
- Duke Energy to provide paid parental leave - The Charlotte-based electric utility announced Thursday it will provide six weeks to mothers and fathers. An employee can start the six-week paid leave any time within the first 16 weeks after the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child. Birth mothers can take at least 12 weeks paid time off, double the length of the previous benefit. The benefits began Jan. 1.
- Meet the youngsters helping solve Japan’s caregiving crisis. Like Kunio Odair - Japan is considered a “super-aging” society. More than a quarter of the population is over 65, a figure set to rise to 40?percent by 2050. The average life expectancy is 85, and that means many Japanese remain relatively healthy for a good two decades after retirement age. At Cross Heart, more than half of the 119 caregivers are over 60, and 15 of them are over 70.
- 2017 looks like it will be a big year for workplace flexibility - With a tightening labor force and an increased desire for work-life balance, 2017 is poised to be the year when the most talked-about workplace trend gains traction.
- Congress Passes Groundbreaking Postpartum Depression Legislation - Over 400,000 women in the U.S. suffer from postpartum depression each year. Yet only an estimated 15 percent of those mothers receive treatment, and countless women who have suffered from PPD report feeling deeply alone in their struggles.
- New York State Continues Push To Increase Breastfeeding Rates - The New York State Department of Health continues to push for breastfeeding initiatives. On Monday, the department announced it will allocate more than $7 million toward promoting breast feeding. The $7.2 million grant will be split between six health centers that serve communities with higher than average rates of poverty and obesity, which are associated with lower rates of exclusive breastfeeding, according to the state health department. The University of Rochester is one of the six centers that will receive part of the grant money.
- Voters Increase Minimum Wage, Guarantee Paid Sick Time for Millions of Workers - Across the country, in both red and blue states, Americans voted overwhelmingly for laws that will raise wages, increase access to paid sick time, and give more workers a chance at full-time employment. These crucial labor protections will significantly improve the quality of jobs, particularly for low-wage workers.
- Poverty, instability linked to poor control of pregnancy diabetes - Pregnant women with pregnancy-related diabetes are less likely to achieve blood sugar control if they rely on food stamps or have a generally chaotic lifestyle, according to a U.S. study.
- CAP: In the Absence of U.S. Action on Paid Leave, Multinationals Make Their Own Policies - In the past year and a half, several multinational corporations have made headlines for announcing global paid leave policies. Yet these companies are largely outliers. Multinational corporations are bound to comply with the statutory regulations of the countries in which they operate, and many do not go beyond these requirements.
- Paid Leave 101: Demystifying Paid Sick Days, Paid Family and Medical Leave, and Unsatisfactory Alternatives - As Americans increasingly discuss work-life policies, it is important to understand the nuances of paid sick days and paid family and medical leave. Paid sick days are not a substitute for paid family and medical leave or vice versa; working families need both to remain financially stable.
- Too many mothers stop breastfeeding too soon, and task force says doctors should change that - In light of the “convincing evidence that breastfeeding provides substantial health benefits for children,” primary care providers should discuss breastfeeding with women when they are pregnant, when they are in the hospital to give birth, and after they have gone home with their newborns, according to new guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
- CAP: Housing the Extended Family - The shrinking average household size is partly the result of an increasing number of individuals living alone and of couples delaying having children. In addition, what is not directly obvious from this statistic is that the number and size of other types of households has also increased. These include the extended family, a living arrangement that has been proliferating in the past few decades and has tended to grow faster than the nuclear family—married couples with single children under the age of 18—that was more common in the middle of the 20th century.
- Men's Restrooms Will Now Require Baby Changing Stations. Thanks, Obama! - The BABIES Act applies to restrooms in publicly accessible federal buildings. The law defines “baby changing facility” as “a table or other device suitable for changing the diaper of a child age 3 or under” and mandates that these facilities be “physically safe, sanitary, and appropriate.”
- Caring for Caregivers: A New Study Confirms Why Family Caregivers Need Paid Leave - In the United States today, over 17 million people—about 7.7 percent of the population age 20 or older—provide unpaid care for someone age 65 or older. As the report emphasizes, “the faces and experiences of these individuals and the older adults they care for are as varied as the nation’s population.” The unpaid work of family caregivers is also tremendously valuable. In 2011, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that family caregiving work was worth nearly $234 billion.
- Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors Is Mandated by Labor Department - The Obama administration, in its latest effort to update workplace policies it says have lagged far behind the realities of Americans’ lives, will require federal government contractors to provide paid sick leave to their workers.
- Some states have great health care for infants — and terrible health care for pregnant women - It’s well-known that there is huge variation in health care quality among states. But this new study shows that even within states, the quality of care in seemingly related areas can vary significantly, too. Indicators used to determine the health of a mother, infant, or child ranged from clinical outcomes like the prevalence of preterm births and maternal deaths to more environmental health factors such as domestic violence, food insecurity, teen birth rates, and suicides.
- What Clinton and Millions of Workers Have in Common: Going To Work Sick - Powering through illness is something millions of Americans do every day. The difference is that many of them don’t have much of a choice. They have to “power through” worse things than the cough that plagued Clinton in the days before the 9/11 memorial.
- Obama Moves To Protect Planned Parenthood Funding, Permanently - The Obama administration has proposed a new rule that would prevent states from defunding Planned Parenthood or any other family planning provider for political reasons.
- Deloitte Enters the Paid Leave Arms Race With 16 Weeks of Family Leave - On Thursday, Deloitte LLP announced what the company is touting as most extensive new family leave policy in the professional services industry. The new rules will allow all employees—men and women—to take up to 16 fully paid weeks off to care for a family member. This includes a new child, spouse, or aging parent. With the addition of these 16 weeks, birth mothers will now be eligible for up to 6 months of paid time off when factoring in short-term disability.
- Good News on NYC Paid Sick Days! - The Center for Economic and Policy Research released a new report, which has received major press attention, on the impact of the New York City Earned Sick Time Act.
- WORK & FAMILY: Failing Our Families - The National Partnership released the fourth edition of our one-of-a-kind Expecting Better report — a state-by-state analysis of laws and regulations governing paid leave, paid sick days, protections for pregnant workers and other workplace rights for expecting and new parents in the United States. Although some states are making progress, many are failing to provide critical support. New York State makes the grade with an A- but there is room for improvement!
- The world is getting better at paid maternity leave. The U.S. is not. - The truth is, however, that in the United States bearing a child comes at a high price for many women. Despite having one of the world's most advanced economies, the United States lags far behind other countries in its policies for expectant mothers. In addition to being the only highly competitive country where mothers are not guaranteed paid leave, it sits in stark contrast to countries such as Cuba and Mongolia that offer expectant mothers one year or more of paid leave.
- Higher Minimum Wages Lead to Healthier Newborns, According to Two New Studies - Two recent studies have found that higher mandated hourly wages lead to healthier babies at birth.
- More and more women are now dying in childbirth, but only in America - In other countries, maternal death rates have fallen sharply since 1990. In South Korea, the rate of women dying in childbirth fell from 20.7 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 12 today. In Germany, it dropped from 18 to 6.5. But in the United States, the opposite is happening. The rate of women dying in childbirth is going up.
- A Chipotle Manager Discriminated Against a Pregnant Employee, Demanding to Approve Her Bathroom Breaks - Chipotle Mexican Grill owes $550,000 in damages to a former employee who was fired from a restaurant in downtown Washington, D.C., because she was pregnant.
- Even Conservatives Now Admit The U.S. Needs Paid Family Leave - A Republican-backed think tank, the American Action Forum, offered up a new idea for how the U.S. could implement paid maternity, paternity and caregiver leave. More surprising, the new plan is structured like an entitlement ? a government benefit for lower-income Americans of the sort that small-government, deficit conscious conservatives typically detest.
- The Baby-Before-Tenure Question - Balancing an academic career with the realities of a biological clock.
- How to Plan for Your Maternity Leave - Understanding federal law and the laws of your state can help demystify the process of prepping for your maternity leave. If you live in California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, or New York, you may be entitled to paid time to bond with your baby. New York’s recently-passed law, the most generous in the nation, will become effective in 2018.
- Pregnant Women's Medical Care Too Often Affected by Race - 60,000 women a year in the U.S. experience near-fatal complications during pregnancy and childbirth, and these women are the fortunate ones—about 1,200 more die. Even more troubling is that despite tremendous advances in medicine in recent decades, maternal mortality rates in the U.S. have more than doubled over the past 25 years. That trend puts the U.S. in the same category as Afghanistan, Belize and South Sudan. In fact, the U.S. is the only developed country with rising mortality rates, according to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Save the Children ranks the U.S. 61st in the world when it comes to maternal health —despite the fact that the U.S. spends more than every other country on Earth on health care and more on childbirth-related care than any other area of hospitalization.
- State Identifies 324 Cases Of The Zika Virus - New York's Health Department says it has identified 324 cases of Zika, all associated with travel to areas where mosquitoes are known to transmit it. It has reported 22 pregnant women with laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infection may cause birth defects.
- US Mayors Support PFL - The U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a formal resolution supporting paid family leave. The official resolution cites the importance of workplace flexibility for healthy families and worker productivity. It also urges Congress and the president to pass and sign legislation for national paid family leave.
- The Top 5 Things Dads Should Know About Their Rights In The Workplace - Today, men are taking on more childcare duties and caregiving for ill relatives, with tremendous implications, as outlined in the State of the America's Fathers Report, for children's health and wellbeing as well as for gender equity in the home and women's equality more broadly.
- The discrimination lawsuit you didn’t see coming - Employee lawsuits alleging “family responsibilities discrimination” are growing at a faster rate than any other kind of employment discrimination case, according to a new study.
- Work With Bad Colds or Flu - The epidemic of presenteeism is built into the way America does business. Going to work sick is all too common in the United States: a survey released by Wakefield Research earlier this year found that 69% of working Americans don’t take sick days, even when they’re genuinely ill, because they feel they can’t afford to miss even a day of work. That is if they even have paid sick days; many American workers don’t. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, 40 percent of private-sector workers and 80% of low-wage workers do not receive any paid sick leave.
- Paid Sick Leave Stakes A Claim In The Midwest - Almost 62,000 more workers got the right to stay home when they’re feeling under the weather when the city council of Minneapolis, Minnesota unanimously passed its own paid sick and safe leave ordinance. It’s the first place in the Midwest to pass a bill.
- CAP: The Population of Pregnant Women at Potential Risk of Zika Virus Infection - In this issue brief, the Center for American Progress provides new estimates on the state-by-state populations of pregnant women who will be at potential risk of Zika virus infection this summer and fall. Our results include each state or city that is projected to have an area of moderate to high potential mosquito abundance within the CDC-estimated range. We estimate that there will be more than 491,000 pregnant women at risk in Texas and more than 271,000 pregnant women at risk in Florida. The estimated number of pregnant women at risk will exceed 100,000 in Georgia, New Jersey, New York City, North Carolina, and Virginia.
- For Zika-infected pregnancies, microcephaly risk may be as high as 13 percent - Pregnant women infected with the Zika virus during their first trimester face as high as a 13 percent chance that their fetus will develop a severe and rare brain defect, according to research published Wednesday.
- 157 pregnant Americans have Zika - Some 157 pregnant women in the United States and another 122 in US territories, primarily Puerto Rico, have tested positive for infection with the Zika virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
- During Healthy Families Act Days of Action, Business Owners Stress Benefits of Paid Sick Time - This week, more than 30 jurisdictions across the country are celebrating the success of their paid sick time laws and calling on Congress to pass the federal Healthy Families Act (HFA). During these “Days of Action,” which culminate on June 15 with events for both houses of Congress in Washington, D.C., employers who have implemented local and state paid sick time laws will share an important message with businesses nationwide: you have nothing to fear.
- Caregiver Discrimination Lawsuits Increased 269% in the Last Decade - Workplace discrimination against employees based on caregiving responsibilities—called “family responsibilities discrimination”—is often blatant. Many employers seem to know enough not to say openly “This is no job for a woman,” but some seem to feel perfectly comfortable saying “This is no job for a mother.” Here are the four main trends of the study:
- Cases involving eldercare increased 650% over the last decade.
- Pregnancy discrimination remains the most-common type of caregiver discrimination.
- There has been a sharp increase in family caregiving cases brought by men.
- Breastfeeding cases have increased by 800%.
- Family caregivers seek fair treatment in the workplace - The Center for WorkLife Law released Caregivers in the Workplace, reviewing trends in this area of litigation over the past decade. The dramatic increase in cases over that time shows how bias against family caregivers continues to plague many workplaces. It also argues for additional measures to combat this form of unfair treatment and prevent it from happening in the first place.
- The Best Places To Work For New Dads In 2016 - When Fatherly’s 50 Best Places To Work For New Dads was compiled in 2015, nearly half the companies featured offered between one and 2 weeks of paid leave to fathers. Twelve months later, 7.5 weeks is the average, 35 percent of companies offer between 6 and 8 weeks, and another 12 companies offer between 10 weeks and a full year. New York rings in at #2 with 9, behind California’s 18.
- Airline Pilots Should Not Have to Choose Between Their Jobs and Breastfeeding Their Babies - Frontier Airlines' maternity policy for pilots allows 120 days of leave, all of it unpaid. Many of us can't afford to take the full amount of time off because we are also forced to take mandatory unpaid leave at least eight weeks before giving birth.
- All women should be screened for postpartum depression after birth, doctors say - New research suggests women with postpartum depression are not getting the care they need, either because they have not been screened or are not screened often enough.
- U.S. maternal death rate is spiking. Here’s what’s being done to change that. - The relatively high percentage of American women who die as a result of pregnancy, which exceeds that of other developed nations, is prompting a new national prevention campaign that relies on the states to take a leading role in preventing such deaths. A number of studies suggest that a third of deaths related to pregnancy are potentially preventable.
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