Balancing the demands of job and family is a tremendous challenge for working people today. Under the current workplace rules it’s often insurmountable.
More women with children work than ever before, leaving a majority of children without someone at home full-time to care for them. Others, including the elderly and people with a serious illness or disability, increasingly rely on family members for caregiving needs. Working family members find themselves torn in two directions – take the time from work to care for their own illness or that of a sick family member and risk a day’s pay or losing their job; or go to work, earn a day’s pay and risk their own health or that of a loved one.
Something needs to be done—and the problem is just too big for people to solve by themselves. It’s time for workers, business and government to come together to create a winning situation for everyone. We need paid leave policies that provide a basic standard of paid leave for all workers. Paid leave policies are critical to helping ensure workers can take care of themselves and their loved ones without risking their health, or their family’s health and economic security.
New Jersey took a big step forward in May 2008 when Family Leave Insurance legislation was signed into law, but there is still more that can be done. In addition to Family Leave Insurance, New Jersey’s working families need paid sick days to care for themselves, their child or other family member when illness strikes or to attend routine medical appointment; and they need a few hours each year to attend a child’s school event or participate in a parent-teacher conference or other school activity.
The New Jersey Time to Care Coalition is building on the successful earned sick days campaigns in Jersey City and Newark to advance a statewide paid sick days standard for all New Jersey workers.
Everyone benefits when workers are able to balance job obligations and family needs. Giving workers financial security by allowing them to take paid leave to deal with their own illness, a child’s illness, or a parent’s recovery from a stroke not only improves outcomes for children families, but also raises worker morale and productivity.
The New Jersey Time to Care Coalition is a diverse group of over 100 advocacy, union, research, and other community-based organizations working to improve workplace programs and policies that supports initiatives that make sure working families have paid time to care.
Paid “time to care” means strong families, strong workplaces, and strong communities.
Sign up to Join the NJ Time to Care Coalition.