After months of organizing by the coalition led by TakeAction Minnesota, a RFF grantee, the Duluth City Council passed the Earned Sick and Safe Time Act by a 7-1 vote on Tuesday, May 29. The new ordinance will take effect on January 1, 2020 and allow workers to earn up to 40 hours per year of paid sick time.
The Family Fund’s program for women’s economic justice seeks to improve the quality of life for working women and their families by advocating for equitable employment opportunities and updated employment standards. Working at the national, state and local levels, we support research, training, public education campaigns and advocacy efforts.
Workplace Reforms & Paid Sick Days
Workplace policies in the United States have not been updated despite the enormous changes in the workforce that have occurred over the past 50 years. While the typical American family with children in the 1950’s had a homemaker and a breadwinner, today’s American family is most likely run by two parents – both working out of the home – or a single parent also working outside the home. This basic fact has had a cascading series of societal, cultural and economic effects, including the inability of many women to meet their family and work responsibilities due to antiquated and rigid workplace policies. One of the most promising ways to improve the economic status of women is to modernize America’s employment standards. Since 2008, RFF has undertaken this initiative to educate the public about work/family conflict and its detrimental effect on the economy and family economic security. RFF has primarily focused on paid leave policies that allow employees to take care of their own health needs or those of a family member. Beginning with paid sick day wins in Connecticut and Seattle and more recent wins in Portland, OR, and New York City, this initiative has achieved stunning successes.
For more information about paid sick leave and other workplace reform policies, visit the National Partnership for Women and Families, the Center for American Progress, and see American Women's toolkit.