First Lady Stresses Need for Work and Family Policies in U.S. Department of Labor Visit

by | Jan 19, 2010 | Paid Sick Days

In a recent speech before the staff of the U.S. Department of Labor, First Lady Michelle Obama emphasized the Obama administration’s support for the Healthy Families Act and other work and family policies. The First Lady referred to her own challenges as a working mother and reiterated that workers “shouldn’t have to choose” between taking care of their families and keeping their jobs. Secretary Hilda Solis, in her opening remarks, highlighted the Department of Labor’s ongoing work on issues that are among the highest priorities for the First Lady, including work-life issues and supporting military families.

The First Lady’s remarks included the following statements:

“Staying home to care for a sick child or taking an elderly parent to a doctor’s appointment shouldn’t mean risking one’s job. That shouldn’t be the tradeoff.”

“People shouldn’t have to choose between taking the time they need after giving birth, for example, or adopting a child, and keeping that job that they need to support the child they just had. That shouldn’t be the choice.”

“Things like paid family leave and sick days and affordable childcare should be the norm, not the exception…That’s why the President and Secretary Solis have spoken out in favor of the Healthy Families Act, which would let millions more working Americans earn up to seven days a year of paid sick time to care for themselves and their families.”

Read the full text of the First Lady’s remarks »