“Instead of advancing measures that will provide real help to struggling families, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Rules Committee tonight paved the way for the full House’s consideration of the misnamed Working Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 1406). Not only would this bill make it more difficult for working families to get the predictable, flexible schedules they need, but it would also mean less money and fewer wage and hour protections for workers who need them most. And it would hurt women the most. H.R. 1406 is a shameful attempt to mislead America’s families, and the full House should reject it.
H.R. 1406 only pretends to give people the time they need to manage the dual demands of work and family. At a time when people are desperately trying to make ends meet without paid sick days, paid family and medical leave, fair wages or predictable scheduling, it is insulting that the House is wasting time with a bill that would make things so much worse. And it is preposterous that proponents are calling it a pro-working-mother bill as Mother’s Day approaches.
No lawmaker should be fooled by this dishonest rhetoric. America’s families are looking for real solutions to the challenges they face, not empty promises. It is time for Congress to prioritize the Healthy Families Act, expansions of the Family and Medical Leave Act, paid family and medical leave insurance, the Paycheck Fairness Act, and an increase in the minimum wage and other measures that would actually make the country more family friendly.
We applaud Representative Rosa DeLauro (D – Conn.) for suggesting the Committee vote on the Healthy Families Act as an alternative to H.R. 1406. The Rules Committee rejected her amendment, but the Healthy Families Act would make real the false promises made by proponents of H.R. 1406 by guaranteeing workers the right to earn the paid time off they need, to use when they need it.
The National Partnership for Women & Families has fought for more than 40 years for the day when no worker in this country has to choose between job and family. H.R. 1406 will not do what proponents claim, and instead will hurt women, families and our country. Every member of the House should reject this bill when it comes to the floor.”
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NOTE: Earlier today, 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.