To work or not to work: That IS the question for Iowans!
This week, Netflix made headlines when they announced a new company decision to offer up to one year of paid leave for new parents after the birth or adoption of a child. Microsoft was quick to follow with a change in their paid leave policy, offering 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents. These are two examples of the private sector identifying the benefit of paid family leave to support working families.
The United States is the only developed country without guaranteed access to paid maternity leave. Three states (California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island) have laws on the books requiring paid family leave. It’s great for the working families living in one of those three states, not so great for those living in the other states.
Research shows newborn leave has positive effects for young children, such as positive health outcomes, benefits in child development, and an increase in paternal involvement. While employers allow for family leave, an important factor in how long a parent chooses to take off is financial. Working families must choose between spending important, quality time with their young child or returning to work to support their new family.
Paid family leave is one policy worth fighting for; another is paid sick leave. Nine states and the District of Columbia have state or municipal paid sick leave laws. Unfortunately, Iowa is not one of those states.
Recently, the National Partnership for Women and Families released fact sheets exploring national sick leave policies. In Iowa, more than 45% of the workforce is ineligible for paid sick days–a little higher than the national average at 40% of the workforce. For more than 540,000 Iowa children, parents have to choose – send their child to child care or school sick or risk losing a day of pay to stay home and care for their sick child. Without access to paid sick leave, working families in Iowa have to make difficult choices.
Every Child Matters in Iowa is interested to learn more about where the candidates stand on these important policy issues. If you are attending a candidate event, consider asking how the candidate will support working families:
As President, what will you do to ensure working families have access to paid time off so they don’t have to make a choice between caring for a loved one and bringing home a much-needed paycheck?
Remember to report back! CLICK HERE to share the candidate’s responses to a questions about our kids. We have easy access to the candidate’s calendar so you can find an event in your community.
Vote for Kids Day at the Iowa State Fair
Every Child Matters in Iowa and Save the Children Action Network have joined together to sponsor the Vote for Kids Day at the Iowa State Fair on Thursday, August 20th. If you are planning a trip to the fair, please stop by and talk to us. We will have fun activities for the kids and an opportunity to sign up to win a prize. Most importantly, we can talk to you about the issues important to all of us – our kids!
If you want to join us in the booth, we are actively seeking volunteers. The following shifts are available:
9 AM – 12 PM
12 PM – 3 PM
3 PM – 6 PM
6 PM – 9 PM
Please let us know if you have any questions about the event. CLICK HERE to register for a shift time on August 20th. You will get free admission to the fair and an Every Child Matters in Iowa T-Shirt!!