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Media Release: Working Women Unite to Get Economy Working Again

Media Release: Working Women Unite to Get Economy Working Again

Contact: Susan Berryman-Rodriguez,susan@9to5.org, (404) 222-0030
August 14, 2012
View the original: Working Women Unite Voters to Get Economy Working Again

On August 26, 2012, in celebration of Women’s Equality Day, 9to5 members and activists in 18 cities across the country will register voters and encourage them to call on their candidates to support earned sick days. 9to5’s National Day of Action: We Support Paid Sick Days is designed to send a powerful signal that it’s time to support paid sick days to strengthen working families and rebuild America.

“This election year it’s up to voters to urge candidates to support earned paid sick days to help rebuild an economy that works for everybody including women like Latosha Griffin, 9to5 Atlanta member” said Linda Meric, executive director of 9to5.

Griffin acknowledges that not having paid sick days affected her family and her parenting responsibilities: “I worked for an employer who didn’t provide earned sick leave. I was forced to go to work sick. Since I wasn’t able to stay at home and recuperate it took me a lot longer to get well. Unfortunately, my younger children would then get sick and my older daughters had to stay home from school so I could go to work. I couldn’t afford not to get paid. Not only did this affect my daughters’ school attendance, but it put me in a position that no responsible parent wants to be in.”

“In these tough economic times, no one should have to risk their paycheck or their job if they or someone in their family gets sick,” said Meric. “But that is the difficult reality for 55 million hardworking Americans who are unable to earn paid sick time.” Right now two in five workers lack even a single paid sick day, and nearly half of those who earn sick time can’t use it to care for a sick child, forcing them to choose between their families and their jobs.

“American families cannot afford to wait to get our economy moving again. We need to enact paid sick day policies that will help hardworking Americans hold onto their jobs, support their families and sustain local businesses,” said Meric.

At a time when the majority of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and the average unemployed worker searches for more than six months for a new job, no one should have to lose pay – or worse lose their job – to recover from a common illness or seek routine medical care.

Wage and job loss due to illness are a major concern for struggling families without paid sick days. Nearly one in four workers reports that they have lost a job or were threatened with job loss for taking time off due to personal illness or care for a sick child or relative.

Paid sick days promote productivity and save businesses money. If workers earned seven paid sick days a year, our national economy would experience a net savings of $160,000 billion a year due to increased productivity and reduced turnover.

9to5 is calling on all candidates to support paid sick days legislation to reduce unemployment by keeping hardworking Americans in their jobs. With overwhelming public support for paid sick days, the time is now to strengthen families and rebuild the economy.

9to5’s National Day of Action involves communities throughout the United State hosting events from roundtable discussions, voter registration to letter writing campaigns in 19 cities, including:

  • Asheville, NC-Sunday, August 26
  • Atlanta, GA – Sunday, August 26
  • Attelboro, MA-Sunday, August 26
  • Cleveland, OH-Sunday, August 26
  • Commack, NY-Saturday, August 26
  • Denver. CO-Sunday, August 26
  • Detroit, MI-Sunday August 26
  • Eau Claire, WI-Sunday, August 26
  • East Northport, NY-Saturday, August 25
  • Houston, TX-Saturday, August 25
  • Los Angeles, CA-Friday, August 24
  • Millen, GA-Sunday, August 26
  • Milwaukee, WI-Monday, August 27
  • Portland, OR-Sunday, August 26
  • Phoenix, AZ-Sunday, August 26
  • Rockville, MD-Sunday, August 26
  • San Jose, CA-Sunday August 26
  • Sacramento, CA-Sunday August 26
  • Washington, DC-Sunday, August 26

About 9to5: 9to5 has been fighting for paid sick days, equal pay, and family-supporting jobs with decent wages since 1973. As one of the largest, most respected national membership organizations of working women in the U.S, 9to5 lifts up the voices of women in low-wage jobs, builds leadership skills and empowers women to bring about real change. Over the past 40 years, 9to5 has celebrated hard-won victories like the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Family Medical Leave Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. To learn more or to get involved with 9to5 campaigns to win good jobs and work-family policies, visit www.9to5.org.

About Women’s Equality Day: Women’s Equality Day commemorates the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment, the culmination of the long struggle for full voting rights for women.

 

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