Keep Paid Leave Front and Center

Nov 17, 2010

By Andrea Lindemann

A webcast hosted by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) last week labeled workplace flexibility a "business imperative." CEOs surveyed by SHRM said obtaining human capital and optimizing human capital investments is the single biggest investment challenge facing employers over the next 10 years.  Human Resources professionals identified promoting flexibility important for work/life balance as the most effective tactic to meet this challenge- even more so than pay or other compensation.

While groups representing employers and human resources professionals like SHRM often encourage employers to wade into the workplace flexibility arena, many don't support a minimum standard for paid sick days.

A minimum standard for all workers, however, is necessary to protect those on the lowest rung of the ladder, the low-wage workers who are most often unable to take time off when ill. 

It remains to be seen how the post-election climate will affect the pending Healthy Families Act, which would allow workers to earn up to seven days of paid sick time per year.  CLASP will continue to support its passage, as well as support state campaigns gaining momentum across the country. 

The Obama Administration is likely to continue focusing on workplace flexibility in 2011. As Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis recently stated, "Government has a role. This administration supports the Healthy Families Act." 

While we wait to see what's in store for the 112th Congress on a host of issues, CLASP and our partners will continue to build support for workplaces that work for employees. In the new Congress, we must continue to find ways to encourage businesses to help all workers balance work and family needs.

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