In our regular weekly feature, we'll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families. The winners will be the persons or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families, while the losers will be whoever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.
Title IX deserves a gold: While we cheer for Team USA and the amazing girls and women in the Olympic Games, let’s also give a shout out to Title IX, the 1972 law that put sports within reach of girls in a whole new way by requiring gender equity in schools. And make some noise for American Sarah Hendrickson, who last week became the first woman ever to take an official ski jump at a Winter Games.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito are unveiling a plan that would expand the number of city businesses required to provide paid sick leave for their workers by tens of thousands. Under the proposal, set to be released in Brooklyn today, any company with five or more workers would be required to provide some form of paid sick leave. According to The New York Times, the new rules would bring New York more in line with other cities, which already have similar rules.
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) resolved at its 2013 biennial convention last month to throw its denominational support and advocacy efforts behind paid sick leave legislation. The resolution also calls upon URJ congregations to support local paid sick leave campaigns and re-evaluate employment and contracting policies, making sure URJ congregations are an example of just employers in communities across the country.
On Jan. 1, the new paid sick leave ordinance goes into effect in Portland, Ore. One of the organizations that supported the passage of the new rules, Family Forward Oregon, has created a helpful new FAQ to answer questions about the new law's rollout. Any employee who works 240 or more hours a year in the city of Portland will earn paid or unpaid sick leave, depending on the size of the company. The FAQ answers 16 questions about the new rules, from eligibility questions to how and when the leave can be used.
Darden Restaurants Inc., the company whose 28,000 workers serve at Red Lobster, Olive Garden and the upscale Capital Grille restaurants, found itself on the defensive in September, as CEO Clarence Otis tried to explain to shareholders why year after year earnings per share dropped and restaurant servers labored under a $2.13 per hour federal “tipped” minimum wage, with no paid sick leave.
Workers, businesses and community groups in Tacoma, Wash., have made that Northwest city the latest to mobilize around a paid sick days campaign. Meanwhile, the Washington, D.C., City Council is exploring strengthening the district’s paid sick leave law.