On this day that we honor moms, here are five gifts of better workplace policies for working moms:
1. Access to paid family & medical leave
By creating a state or federal paid leave fund, we can make sure all moms can afford to take time after the birth or adoption of a child. We can make sure that moms can afford to take time to care for aging parents. We can make sure that moms can afford to take time if they need to help a child or other family member deal with a serious illness or recover from surgery.
2. The ability to earn paid sick days
Sometimes everyone needs time to get well or to care for a sick child. Too many working moms—especially those in low-wage jobs—can’t earn even one sick day. Not only is this a challenge for their families, but it is a public health concern for our workplaces, schools, and communities.
3. Protections for pregnant workers
Pregnant women aren’t supposed to face discrimination in the workplace, but many are still denied reasonable accommodations so they are forced to choose between a healthy pregnancy and their paycheck.
4. A higher minimum wage
Six in ten minimum wage workers in Maine are women, and more than 70% of tipped workers in our state are women. That’s why it’s vital that we pass the minimum wage referendum that will be on the ballot in November. The referendum would increase Maine’s minimum wage from $7.50 to $12.00 by the year 2020, increase the subminimum tipped minimum wage (now $3.75) incrementally until it matches the minimum wage in 2024, and link future minimum wage increases to inflation.
5. Increased access to quality, affordable early childhood programs
Quality early childhood programs provide children with a basis for lasting academic success as well as long-term social and emotional benefits. And when parents can afford reliable, quality programs, they are better able to focus on work and school. The rising costs of these programs is making it more difficult for parents to afford to go to work, which creates economic strains for many families in Maine.
To give Maine moms these gifts, we need your help. Click here to let us know you will take action to help make these policies a reality.
Let’s work together to make progress on these policies before another Mother’s Day goes by.