When illness strikes or a child is born or adopted, workers should not have to worry about losing a job or critical income. The LGBT community must join the call for paid leave laws and ensure that all workers have the support and time to recover from illness and care for their loved ones.
Make no mistake, paid family leave is something every parent should have access to, but parenting is a marathon, not only a sleep-deprived sprint. For millions of working parents, flexibility is a key factor in the work-life juggle.
Overtime pay is not just to be kind to workers. It also counteracts the absence of a federal statute that sets a ceiling on weekly work hours. What's to keep an employer from routinely asking for 70 hours and firing employees if they refuse?
Kimberly N. "leaned in" to her career for years. As a vice president of a large charitable organization, she earned high praise and enjoyed her work. When Kimberley got pregnant, she negotiated a six-week maternity leave, and looked forward to resuming work.
What's my number one piece of sanity-saving advice to pregnant women? Get a job in California or New Jersey. Not for Disneyland and Snooki, mind you, but because these two forward-thinking states are the only places in America where all working mothers are offered paid maternity leave.
Women are 52 percent of the U.S. population. But not once did either Obama or Romney even give a nod in their direction for the hour and a half they debated U.S. domestic policy. This woman-less lens is not only disastrous for women, but for us all.
The United States is the only industrialized country in the world with no national law mandating paid time off for new parents. In fact, we are one of only four countries in the world without such a law.
Programs like paid family leave help workers hold on to their pay, which they can spend in their communities. Such policies help keep people on their jobs, boost productivity, stimulate the economy and save businesses money.
It turns out that if our infants do well, our nation does well too. By packaging paid family leave and quality affordable infant care, we can give babies a strong start in their first year of life. That's a package of policies ready for wrapping.
More and more voters say they're more likely to support candidates who'll make sure family values don't end at the workplace door, and who understand that for the economy to recover, we need policies like these to help people stay employed and have money to spend at local businesses.
If the love of your life had major surgery or a serious illness, you would want to be by their side. You'd want to take time off work without losing your job to give them the care they need. But if you're gay, you have no such right under federal law.
The decision essentially says that sick leave -- taking care of oneself -- is fundamentally different from family leave -- taking care of someone else -- in that it does not depend on gender differences or stereotypes. This is an erroneous conclusion.
If our country is ever going to demonstrate that it truly values families, and if we are serious about getting the country and economy back on track, then we need national work and family policy standards.
Here in the land of self-sufficiency and family values, foremost of which is the sanctity of parental childrearing, anything that smacks of social welfare statehood is a tough sell. Never mind that nearly 57 percent of women with children under age one are in the workforce.