I am proud to support A Better Balance by donating a portion of every sale of my book, The Working Dad’s Survival Guide, to this amazing legal advocacy organization that is leading the charge for more family-supportive workplace and social policy.
I asked Dina Bakst and Phoebe Taubman of A Better Balance to write a short summary of their work and have posted it here. Please consider joining me in supporting their important work.
A Better Balance (ABB) was founded on the principle that we all deserve to be present for the ones we love when they need us most. At some point in our lives, we are all likely to be primary caregivers to a child, spouse, parent or other family member, or to need care ourselves. Caregiving affects us all.
Yet America’s workplaces and public policies do not reflect this basic truth. In fact, they have failed to keep up with the changing needs of families and our workforce. While most nations guarantee paid leave for new parents, just twelve percent of private employers in the United States offer paid time off to employees when a new baby is born. Half of all fathers, and more than half of mothers, report finding it very or somewhat difficult to balance work and family life. And the struggle is particularly tough for low-income workers who have no financial safety net to catch them in the event of an unexpected family care crisis.
At ABB, we believe these problems are not individual challenges to be resolved by families in isolation. These are pressing problems that impact all of us, and our economy. They require systemic solutions.
ABB is a legal advocacy organization dedicated to finding and implementing such solutions. We are committed to promoting equality and expanding choices for men and women at all income levels so they may care for their families without sacrificing their economic security. We empower individuals through public education to be their own best advocates in the workplace. We are a trusted resource for those seeking support and legal representation as they navigate the patchwork of laws available to help them succeed at work while caring for family. And we are a national authority in the work-family movement, devising policy solutions, drafting legislation, and guiding other advocates around the country to push for change.
ABB spearheaded passage of two new laws in New York City that help workers with families manage their dual roles, and has shepherded dozens of others like them around the country—from Oregon to West Virginia, and from Nebraska to Rhode Island.
- The NYC Earned Sick Time Act established a legal right to sick time for 3.4 million workers. It allows covered workers to take up to 40 hours of sick time in a year, either for themselves or to care for certain family members, and not be fired or punished for doing so. In businesses with five or more workers, sick time must be paid.
- The NYC Pregnant Workers Fairness Act protects pregnant employees and mothers who have recently given birth against discrimination. Under the law, employers have to allow their pregnant employees to make changes to their work duties or schedule in order to stay healthy, unless such accommodations pose an undue hardship on the employer.
ABB has brought individual cases to enforce the laws we have worked to pass, and clarify protections where the law is not settled.
- We helped Floralba Espinal, a thrift shop worker in the Bronx, get her job and her income back after she was denied accommodations she needed to stay healthy during her pregnancy and stay employed.
- We helped Angelica Valencia, who worked in a potato-packing plant, after she was pushed off the job while pregnant because she needed to avoid overtime to stay healthy.
- We are championing the cause of Officer Lyndi Trischler, who was pushed out of her job as a Florence, KY police officer when she was five months pregnant due to a city-wide policy that denies modified duty to any employee, unless he/she has a work-related condition.
ABB is also a national leader in providing accessible, reliable information to the public about the laws and policies designed to help them manage work and family demands.
- Our book, Babygate: Surviving Pregnancy and Parenting in the Workplace, is the first of its kind to break down the laws on topics across the parenthood spectrum in clear, conversational language, and include a state-by-state guide so readers know how they’re protected (or not) in their hometowns.
- The Babygate website keeps this crucial information up to date and allows users to search by state for information about the laws that impact them. Learn more at www.abetterbalance.org, www.facebook.com/abetterbalance, and www.twitter.com/abetterbalance.
Please join me in supporting A Better Balance. And if you needed one more reason to buy my book, remember that a portion of every sale supports their efforts for working families nationwide.
How would more family-supportive policies, like those forwarded by ABB help you? Any stories to share? Let’s discuss in the comments.
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