By Liz Friedman
1. Because employees should not be forced to choose between caring for sick family members and the jobs they need.
2. Because a worker can be a committed, long-term employee and still not have any sick day protections at the job. What is this? The dark ages?
3. Because we know that hourly wage workers suffer the most without protected sick days, and that women are approximately two-thirds of minimum-wage workers nationally. Women are more often the ones who stay home with sick children, losing wages and sometimes jobs that they need, to care for their families. This is an unfair burden on mothers, and adds to the inequality in wages between men and women.
4. Because businesses have an obligation to treat their employees fairly and provide reasonable benefits. Is it really too expensive to be a decent employer and treat your employees with respect by enabling them to care for themselves and their sick children?
5. Because the time is now! States and municipalities across the country are moving forward on paid sick time. Now it's Massachusetts' turn. Let's make sure that the one million workers without even one sick day in MA have the right to be sick, take a day off, and still have a job when they're better.
Liz Friedman became a mother in 2002, and founded the Postpartum Support Initiative of MotherWoman in 2007. As Program Director of MotherWoman, Liz is a leading voice in advocating for fair policies for mothers, and with Annette Cycon, developed the MotherWoman Support Group Model, which provides a safe forum for mothers to speak their truths. Liz serves on the MA Postpartum Depression Commission, is a co-investigator on research pertaining to postpartum depression, and in 2013 published a chapbook entitled, "You are exactly the right mother." Liz says, ""I want for my daughter what I want for ALL of us. That she will be heard when she speaks her own truths as a woman and, if she chooses, as a mother." You can find Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org and at www.motherwoman.org.
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