Getting Down to Business (March 2013)

March 04, 2013 | Liz Ben-Ishai

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Getting Down to Business: News on Employers and Paid Leave
March 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.

Business Outreach Successes: A Look at the Philly Earned Sick Days Campaign

How has Philadelphia’s earned sick days campaign been able to bring over 30 business supporters on board? Not only has the campaign reenlisted its supporters from 2011, when the Mayor vetoed the city’s sick days bill, it has also been able to draw in many new businesses. Learn how Philly’s Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces is finding business supporters in unlikely places! Read more about Philadelphia’s business outreach efforts

Implementing Earned Sick Days in Seattle: City Agency Brings Businesses on Board

Putting the cart before the horse or thinking strategically? Although it may seem premature, before your campaign even passes an earned sick days law, it makes sense to contemplate the process of implementing that law. CLASP’s new issue brief on the process of implementing Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance offers advocates the opportunity to do this important strategic work. It’s worth “jumping the gun” to ensure that implementation goes smoothly and takes into account the voices of diverse stakeholders in your communities.

Business organizers for sick days campaigns will also be interested in learning about how Seattle addressed the concerns of businesses and worked to bring them on board with implementation. For the government agency responsible for implementation, the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR), a key part of successfully implementing the law has been listening to business concerns and integrating them into the rulemaking process. Read the brief on Seattle’s implementation process

Movement Synergy: Certified Businesses and Earned Sick Days Campaigns

CLASP and the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) have just released a new tool for job quality advocates, including advocates for earned sick days and paid family leave. A jointly produced brief provides advocates with a primer on the nuts and bolts of the certification movement and suggests ways to foster fruitful relationships between the movement and campaigns for improved job quality, such as earned sick days campaigns. Increasingly, businesses are seeking out certifications – which assess practices regarding the environment, living wages, paid sick days, flexible schedules, etc. – as means to measure their impact and verify that their practices are consistent with their values.

For job quality advocates, who are increasingly recognizing the crucial role of business support in successful campaigns, both certifying organizations and certified businesses can be valuable partners. Be sure to read the brief and follow up with ASBC in order to learn more. Read the brief on certifications and job quality advocacy

CLASP Brief on Business Support for the Family and Medical Leave Act

As the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) celebrates its 20th anniversary, newly released data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) show that the vast majority of businesses find administering the law easy. The FMLA guarantees some workers unpaid job-protected leave to care for their own serious illness, a sick family member, or to bond with a new baby. Yet, nearly 10 million workers find unpaid leave difficult to afford or unaffordable.

Following the February anniversary of the passage of the FMLA, CLASP released a brief highlighting business support for the FMLA and underscoring the need for paid leave to address unmet need. In California and New Jersey, family leave insurance programs have made it possible for employees to take paid family leave, easing the financial burden of caring for oneself and one’s family. In these two states, leave is funded by modest employee contributions of less than one-half of one percent of wages. Research shows that businesses in California have found the state’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program to be good for or have little effect on business. Read the brief on business support for the FMLA

Tool for Advocates: Business Outreach Presentation

Is your campaign just getting started with business outreach? CLASP has developed a new tool for advocates to use in the early stages of their work building business support for earned sick days legislation. Our PowerPoint presentation helps you make the business case for earned sick days. The presentation can easily be adapted to reflect your campaign’s specific needs. Campaign logos and facts related to your jurisdiction can be inserted. Download the presentation and contact CLASP with any questions or for assistance. Download the presentation

U.S. Women’s Chamber Sets Critics of Connecticut Sick Days Law Straight

When the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) released a questionable “study” condemning Connecticut’s earned sick days law, Margot Dorfman, the CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, didn’t hesitate to set the record straight. In a Connecticut Post op-ed entitled, “Paid sick days a boon for state,” Dorfman declared that the study was an example of “corporations crying `wolf' for their own political advantage.”

EPI’s methodologically flawed study suggests that businesses have been harmed by Connecticut’s sick days law, which became the first law of its kind passed at the state-level in 2011. But the group’s conclusions couldn’t be further from the truth, wrote Dorfman. She stated, “As the founder and CEO of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce, and a former executive at General Mills, I know that paid sick days have been good for Connecticut's families, work force, health and businesses.” Read Margot Dorfman’s op-ed

  • Join CLASP on March 19th for a national audio conference on earned sick days and worker safety. A recent study found that workers with paid sick leave were 28 percent less likely than those without leave to be injured on the job. On the call, we’ll bring together sick days and workplace safety advocates to explore ways this new data can be effectively deployed and consider how our movements can work together to make jobs safer and healthier for all workers. The call will feature: Liz Borkowski, Research Associate in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health & Health Services; Wendy Chun-Hoon, D.C. Director, Family Values @ Work; Tom O'Connor, Executive Director, National Council for Occupational Health and Safety; and an employer (TBD). Register for the call. Space is limited.
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