Sunday, June 21, 2009

For Father's Day: Pass Healthy Families Act

Sunday is Father’s Day, a day designed to complement Mother’s Day, to celebrate fatherhood and male parenting, and to honor and commemorate our fathers and forefathers.

Even the White House is calling extra-special attention to Father’s Day 2009.

President Barack Obama is kicking off a new initiative on fatherhood and mentoring with a visit to a nonprofit job training center, by hosting a town hall meeting on personal responsibility and by inviting male students from a local high school to the White House to hang out with some famous Dads.

As on Mother’s Day, many of us will bestow all manner of gifts on Dad – but the last thing Dad needs is another necktie.

For Father’s Day, we need to ensure that Dads can stay home from work when they, their children, spouse, or parents are ill -- without putting the family’s economic self-sufficiency at risk. That’s why, for Father’s Day, we need to pass the Healthy Families Act (HFA).

Co-sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sen. Edward Kennedy, the HFA would make it possible for workers – Dads, Moms and others – to earn up to seven paid sick days per year. The HFA would also allow all workers access to paid sick days to recover from domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault.

Almost 60 million Americans lack a single paid sick day in which to care for themselves when illness strikes. In addition, nearly 100 million workers don’t have a paid sick day they can use to care for an ill child.

Everyone occasionally gets sick – Dad included. And everyone needs the time to recover. But those without paid sick days risk their jobs to do so. If we listen to the President’s wisdom about personal responsibility, we also know that Dad needs time to share in the family care-giving responsibilities. Being able to use paid sick days to care for a sick child would make this more possible.

This year, to truly celebrate fathers, we need to give the gift of paid sick days by passing the HFA. Contact your members of Congress to let them know you support passage of the Healthy Families Act. Visit to find their contact information.

Give Dad a gift that –unlike all those ties – will never mysteriously disappear; a guaranteed basic labor standard of paid sick days.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

9to5 Supports Expansion of Federal Hate Crimes Law

9to5 has long supported the establishment and strengthening of federal and state hate crimes legislation as part of our commitment to combating discrimination. The organization is currently speaking out in support of a pending federal bill. See the letter below for more details.

June 15, 2009

Members of the United State Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the members and constituents of 9to5, National Association of Working Women, I urge you to support the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (S 909).

9to5 is a 35 year old national membership-based organization of low-income women working to improve policy on issues related to ending discrimination, strengthening the safety net, and creating good jobs with policies that promote family-flexibility. 9to5 has long supported hate crimes legislation to address acts of violence motivated by predudice and hate. We strongly support the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

The Matthew Shepard Act will expand existing federal hate crimes law to include protections for those targeted because of real or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability. Further, it will remove overly burdensome obstacles to federal prosecution. The bill allows the federal government to assist local law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes, or to become involved when local law enforcement is either unable or unwilling to take appropriate action. The Attorney General or other high-ranking Justice Department officials would be required to approve all federal prosecutions, in order to avoid duplicating state efforts.

Acts of violence motivated by prejudice and hate are attacks not only on the individuals who are the victims of the specific criminal acts. Hate crimes represent acts of violence and intimidation against entire communities of people, based solely on who they are.

The time is now for Congress to expand and strengthen existing hate crimes law. Please support this vital legislation and sign on as a co-sponsor. Thank you for your consideration. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss this matter further.


Linda A. Meric
Executive Director