“The legislation the U.S. House of Representatives passed today is blatantly deceptive and harmful to working families. The deliberately misnamed Working Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 1406) was designed to score political points for its sponsors, and it will backfire. Working families need real solutions, not anti-family measures dressed up as something they are not. The Senate should refuse to even consider this bill.
This bill would make it more difficult for workers to get the time they need to manage the demands of job and family. More than 40 percent of private sector workers in this country and more than 80 percent of those who are low-wage workers are unable to earn a single paid sick day to recover from illness or care for a sick child. And more than 40 percent of all workers cannot access even unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act when serious personal or family medical needs arise. These are real challenges for workers and our nation, and they require real solutions.
We commend every representative who stood up in opposition to this bill today, and all those who highlighted proposals that would actually make workplaces more family friendly. Workers urgently need the Healthy Families Act, which would establish a national paid sick days standard, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help combat pay discrimination, the Fair Minimum Wage Act, and measures that will expand the Family and Medical Leave Act and establish a paid family and medical leave insurance program.
The National Partnership for Women & Families has been working to make the country more family friendly for more than 40 years. America’s women and families will not be fooled by this fake workplace flexibility bill and the partisanship behind it. Congress must do better.”
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NOTE: On Monday, more than 160 women’s, worker and civil rights organizations sent a letter to the House urging it to reject H.R. 1406. Top women’s leaders from the House, policy and advocacy arenas held an audio press conference to discuss the bill, which can be listened to here.
On April 11th, National Partnership Senior Advisor Judith L. Lichtman testified at the Committee on Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Hearing on H.R. 1406. Her written testimony is available here.