Get the Facts

     
  • Nearly all workers need to take time away from work to deal with a serious personal or family illness, or to care for a new child or aging parent. Access to paid family and medical leave could allow workers to meet those needs without jeopardizing their economic security.
  • The United States is the only developed country that doesn’t guarantee workers the right to earn paid time off in some form.
  • In fact, only 12 percent of workers in the United States have access to paid family leave through their employers.
  • A national paid family and medical leave insurance program that allows workers to continue to earn at least a portion of their pay while they take time away from work to address a serious health condition, care for a family member with a serious health condition, or care for a new child is vital to the success of working families.
  • Each day, 11 million children spend time in the care of someone other than a parent. Among children under age six, 65 percent have either a single parent or two parents in the labor force.
  • For parents of young children, particularly those who are low-income, the lack of quality, affordable early childhood programs can prevent them from ensuring their families are safe and secure while they are at work.
  • We need policies that help working families find high-quality and sustainable child care for their children.
  • Everyone gets sick, but not everyone has time to get better. Allowing employees to earn paid sick days helps keep our economy, families, and communities healthy.
  • Almost 40 million U.S. employees, or about 40 percent of the nation’s private-sector workforce, do not have access to paid sick days. As a result these employees go to work sick or leave their sick children at home alone because they fear they will be fired for missing work.
  • If employees choose to skip work, the loss of pay can take a toll, particularly on the low-income workers who are least likely to have access to these policies.
  • Dozens of cities and states across the country have been taking the lead on pushing legislation to guarantee paid sick days for workers in their community though active campaigns and bills at the state and municipal levels.
  • While women are important breadwinners for their families, they still earn less than men do on average, making it even more difficult for today’s families to make ends meet.
  • Women are the primary, sole, or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of families, yet they continue to earn less than their male counterparts, with Latinas and African American women experiencing the sharpest pay disparities.
  • Although the law prohibits unequal pay for equal work, there is more we need to do to ensure that both women and men enjoy the fullest protections against discrimination. We need to take steps to strengthen existing protections, promote greater transparency in pay practices, and remove loopholes that enable bad actors to avoid being held accountable.
  • Women make up a disproportionate share of low-wage workers. Raising the minimum wage will help hardworking women better support their families.
  • Women made up approximately 2/3 of all minimum wage workers in 2012. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, which means someone working fulltime earns $15,080 a year. That is below the poverty rate for a family of three.
  • Increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 would boost wages for about 15 million women and help close the wage gap.
  • This year the Supreme Court sided with Hobby Lobby to give unprecedented power to closely-held, for-profit corporations to make health care decisions for their female employees.
  • Every legislator needs to address whether they believe that women should be prevented from controlling their own health care decisions.
  • We need to advocate for all women’s continued access to contraception.
  • We need to enable healthy pregnancy and delivery by making sure that women have access to affordable care; information on how to maintain a healthy pregnancy; and unbiased, multilingual, and culturally competent medical care.
  • We need to support congressional legislation to ensure that all women—regardless of where they live—have access to abortion services without having to contend with impossibly burdensome state restrictions.