NJCA and the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University have organized the NJ Time to Care Coalition, a 70-member coalition consisting of community, labor, women's, civic, research, citizen, family and child advocacy groups that are dedicated to the passage of Work & Family Balance issues, like Family Leave Insurance and Guaranteed Paid Sick Days for All, both at the state and federal level. To see the complete list of organizations, visit njtimetocare.rutgers.edu.
JOIN the New Jersey Time to Care Coalition, either as an organization or an individual. To find out the date of our next meeting, send us a story telling us how Family Leave Insurance or Paid Sick Days could have helped or has helped you (if your employer already provides them), or get more info on the Time to Care Coalition, visit njtimetocare.rutgers.edu.
For more information, contact Phyllis Salowe-Kaye at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We call on our New Jersey State elected officials to implement legislation to guarantee a minimum standard of earned paid sick days for all workers. No one should have to choose between caring for themselves and loved ones and getting a paycheck!
Everyone benefits when workers are able to balance job obligations and family needs. Giving workers financial security by allowing them to earn paid leave to deal with their own illness, a child's illness, or a parent's recovery from a stroke not only improves outcomes for children and families, but also raises worker morale and productivity.
Our current workplace policies still reflect the 20th century notion of a sole male breadwinner and a full-time female caregiver. Today, the majority of moms are working fulltime jobs, and many are working more than fulltime. Without workplace standards and supports that reflect the needs of the current workforce, workers, especially working women, cannot adequately fulfill both their caregiving and job responsibilities.
The need for earned paid sick days is especially acute for low-wage workers, the majority of whom are women, who frequently lack benefits afforded higher income workers. In New Jersey, 1.2 million private sector employees lack paid sick days, including 72% of childcare workers and 76% of food service workers. Nationally, nearly 4 in 10 working women do not have access to paid sick days, and women-dominated industries are the least likely to have paid sick leave.
As primary caregivers for their family and frequently lacking access to the paid sick day benefit, women are uniquely positioned to champion all workers' right to earned sick days. We are New Jersey woman whom support a minimum standard of earned sick and safe days for all New Jersey workers.
The New Jersey Time to Care Coalition recently attended the July 8–10, 2012 National Summit on Paid Sick Days and Paid Family Leave in Washington D.C. They joined together with over 200 advocates from around the country to discuss strategies in the fight to advance family-friendly policies such as paid sick days and family leave insurance. Participants had a day of training with choices ranging from campaign planning to social media planning.
On the Day of Action, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was honored for her leadership in fighting for working women and men across the country. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) also spoke as chairman of the Senate HELP Committee and lead senate sponsor of the Healthy Families Act. The Coalition members then went to speak with their representatives about federal legislation for paid sick days.
Above: Representatives from the National Partnership on Women & Families and Family Values at Work with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and NJCA and Time to Care Coalition members.
On May 3, 2012, we held a successful celebration of the 4th anniversary of the enactment of New Jersey's Family Leave Insurance Program with families, legislators and advocates in attendance. Event speakers included Senate President Sweeney and Senate Majority Leader Weinberg, Senator Greenstein, Assemblyman Albano, former Department of Labor Commissioner David Socolow, a small business owner, and two workers who shared their personal stories of using Family Leave Insurance and how it helped them. We had a packed room, and good press coverage — articles about the event have appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, NJ.com, NJBIZ.com, New Jersey 101.5, and New Jersey Newsroom.
For more information about Family Leave Insurance, follow this link. If you have questions or have used Family Leave Insurance and want to tell your story, you can call the NJ Health Helpline at 1-888-NJ-GET-WELL.
Nearly half (48%) of private-sector workers in the US don't have a single paid sick day to care for themselves when they are sick — even less Americans have paid sick days that they can use to care for a sick family member, i.e., a child that needs to stay home from school. Although a dozen states around the country are considering paid sick days initiatives this year, there is currently no state of federal law that guarantees paid sick days for workers.
No worker should be forced to risk their job to take care of themselves or their families. Yet, nearly half of private-sector workers do not have a single paid sick day to care for themselves or a family member when they are ill.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends if you have a fever and you're sick or your children are sick, don't go to work and don't go to school. However, when workers get sick — or need to take care of ill children, or take elderly parents to medical appointments — millions lose pay or even risk losing their jobs.
The lack of paid sick days is a major public health concern. Without paid sick days, working people have no choice but to go to work sick, risking their own health and the spread of illness. Such shortsighted policy is also a threat to our economy as studies have shown that employee "presenteeism" (when sick workers go to work) cost U.S. businesses billions more annually than employee absenteeism.
NJCA and the NJ Time to Care Coalition are currently urging Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act (which has been re-introduced in the 112th Congress by Senator Thomas Harkin (D-IA) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT3) in order to establish a basic workplace standard of paid sick days so that workers aren't forced to risk their jobs or paychecks to care for their health.
The Healthy Families Act would guarantee workers up to seven paid sick days a year to recover from their own illness or to care for a sick family member, and provides paid sick time to recover from or seek assistance related to an incidence of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault.
Fact Sheets on the Healthy Families Act:
- General Healthy Families Act Fact Sheet.
- Paid Sick Days In a Bad Economy.
- Swine Flu and Healthy Families Act.
For more information, contact Jackie Cornell-Bechelli at 732-246-4772 ext. 21 or email@example.com.