Getting Down to Business (July 2013)

July 03, 2013 | Liz Ben-Ishai

Getting Down to Business: News on Employers and Paid Leave
July 2013
In this Issue

Getting Down to Business is CLASP's monthly update on business and paid leave news. If you have news you want to share with your colleagues around the country, let us know.  And be sure to let your area businesses know about Better Workplaces, Better Businesses, a website that aggregates news and research related to business and paid leave and highlights business supporters of paid leave from around the country.

Launched: Better Workplaces, Better Businesses Website

Last month we told you about an exciting new website featuring business supporters of paid leave. The site is now live! “Better Workplaces, Better Businesses” is a venture co-sponsored by the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance, and Social Venture Network. In addition to listing businesses across the country that support paid leave, the site also features resources and news clips about business and paid leave. See something missing? Send us your feedback! Visit the site

Victory in RI: Businesses Mobilize to Support Rhode Island’s TCI Bill

Rhode Island will soon be the third state to provide workers with paid leave to care for a new child or sick family member. This week, the state’s Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI) bill passed the House, and it is headed back to the Senate shortly. It is expected to pass and be signed into law by the Governor within a week. (Paid family leave insurance programs exist in California and New Jersey. Washington State passed a paid leave law, but the program has yet to be funded.) Employers and business groups in Rhode Island and across the nation helped to make the business case for paid leave. Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, said, “Women business owners understand that paid family leave is valuable for both families and businesses. Passage of this important legislation in Rhode Island will reduce health care costs over the long term and level the playing field between small and large firms. Workers who have access to paid leave are loyal employees that spare businesses the high cost of turnover.” See other business statements of support

DC Audit: Sick Days not Bad for Business

The DC government’s long-awaited audit of the city’s earned sick days law was released last month. The audit confirmed what advocates have long maintained: business lobbyists who warned of economic calamity when the bill was under consideration were wrong. Along with this good – or at least affirming – news came a disconcerting revelation: many employers have not implemented the law. Read more

State, Local Policies Move the Dial on Workplace Flexibility

As working caregivers across the country increasingly find themselves at wits’ end trying to meet work deadlines, arrange childcare, get dinner on the table, and take elderly relatives to medical appointments, important developments in the movement to make workplaces more family-friendly are finally gaining political traction. Last month, the state of Vermont passed the country’s first law that includes a provision giving workers the “right to request” a flexible work schedule. And now, San Francisco is considering a proposed ballot measure that would create a similar policy. Read more

AARP Report Highlights Need for Caregiver Support Policies

The AARP’s comprehensive new report, “Keeping Up with the Times: Supporting Family Caregivers with Workplace Leave Policies,” examines three public policy solutions to address the needs of working caregivers: unpaid family and medical leave; paid family and medical leave insurance; and earned sick time. The report notes that paid leave increases worker loyalty and productivity, improves the competitive advantage of smaller businesses, and heightens American business’ competitiveness in the global economy. Read more

Study: Workers with Earned Sick Days Less Likely to Transmit Flu

A new study in the American Journal of Public Health reveals that seasonal influenza spreads among employees at a much higher rate when workplaces do not offer earned sick days. The study reveals that workers with earned sick leave are healthier overall. It complements other research demonstrating that earned sick leave laws lead to more productive workplaces. Read more

DC Restaurant FLAVA Supports Earned Sick Days

DC’s Paid Sick Days for All Coalition has released a video featuring restaurant owner Belinda Sheppard, a new earned sick days business supporter. The DC Coalition is fighting to strengthen the city’s sick days law, which currently excludes tipped workers. If you are in the D.C. area, stop by a special “sick days supporter happy hour” at Sheppard’s restaurant, Flava, on July 9. See the video

NYC: Over One Million Workers Get Sick Days!

A big win in the Big Apple! Last month, the sick days movement saw the passage of a new law that will guarantee millions of workers access to paid sick leave in New York City. The City Council overrode the Mayor’s veto of the city’s earned sick days bill, transforming the lives of many New Yorkers, who will no longer be forced to show up for work sick or risk losing their jobs. New York will become the most populous jurisdiction to pass a sick days law. Business support for the bill played a critical role in its passage. Read more

Main Street Alliance: Straight Talk on Sick Days

Main Street Alliance celebrated Small Business Week by helping to spread some “straight talk” about earned sick days and businesses. The organization released a fact sheet highlighting the collaboration between businesses and advocates on sick days campaigns. Jody Hall, the owner of Seattle’s Cupcake Royal, notes, “I joined with a group of small business owners to sit down with public health advocates and labor unions and develop a paid sick days proposal based on common ground.” Read more

In Case You Missed It: San Francisco Businesses Talk About Implementing Sick Days

Don’t miss this great tool for engaging businesses in your campaign: a video of San Francisco employers discussing the process of implementing paid sick days. Watch the video

Upcoming: Webinar on Business Criteria for Good Workplace and the Paid Leave Movement

Don’t miss this exciting webinar, cosponsored by ASBC, CLASP, Family Values @ Work, and National Partnership for Women & Families. Guests from B Lab and Square Plate will talk about their business certification models and the potential for paid leave advocates to connect with certified businesses. Businesses that have these or other certifications may be more likely to become champions of high-quality jobs. Join the webinar on Monday July 15 from 2-3 PM EDT. Register

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