‘Working moms and dads are juggling a lot’ – Series of bills aim to help working families

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HARTFORD – A series of bills were introduced at the Legislative Office Building  Thursday, aimed at helping the “Women’s Economic Agenda.”

“We need an economy that works for everyone,” said Lindsay Farrell, Executive Director of Connecticut Working Families. “That simply isn’t the case right now, especially for women. The bills in the Women’s Economic Agenda give workers the chance to balance their jobs and caring for their families.”

The group says that for too many people, our economy isn’t working, and women face additional disparities. Women make just seventy-seven cents for every dollar a man earns. Women make up two-thirds of the minimum wage work force, and over seventy percent of servers. Women are far more likely to have the primary responsibility to care for children, and represent more than two-thirds of adults providing substantial assistance to elderly parents.

The bills in the Women’s Economic Agenda include:

  •  HB 6932 which would establish a paid family and medical leave insurance style program for workers to care for new-born or adopted children, treat and recover from serious illnesses, or care for family members.
  • HB 6784, which would expand Connecticut’s groundbreaking and successful paid sick days program to workers who are currently not covered. It would include workers at businesses with 10 or more employees and workers in any employment category so more workers can take a day off when they are sick or have to care for a sick family member.
  • HB 6933, which establishes fair scheduling guidelines that will give workers input into, and advanced notice of, their work schedule.
  • SB 858, which eliminates the tip credit that allows businesses to pay tipped workers $5.78 an hour, so that every worker earns the same minimum wage.
  • HB 6791, which charges large corporations a fee for each employee they pay poverty wages to help offset the cost of state aid programs the workers are forced to rely upon.
  • SB 1037, SB 106, and SB 914 that protect workers from wage theft.

“In the early 1990s, the Family and Medical Leave Act was a landmark bill to help workers and their families take leave when they needed it” said Catherine Bailey, Legal and Public Policy Director, Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund and chair of the CT Campaign for Paid Family Leave. “However, this law needs to be updated to catch up to the needs of modern American families, who shouldn’t have to choose between their health or caring for a family member and staying financially afloat.  Now is the time for Connecticut to be a leader on policies that truly support family values.”

Director of Organizing and Capacity Building at the Center for Popular Democracy “Working moms and dads are juggling a lot – like doctor appointments, child rearing, and caring for aging parents. Fair scheduling legislation would go a long way to establishing basic standards that allow hardworking families to not just get by, but to get ahead.”

The Everybody Benefits Coalition was originally created to push for paid sick days. In 2011, the coalition successfully passed the first-in-the-nation statewide paid sick days program. Now, it aims to expand that program and make even more progress on family-friendly workplace policies.

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