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Work and Family

Work and Family

Although the “traditional” family—a father who works outside the home and financially supports the children and a mother whose work is keeping the house and raising the children—has been disappearing for more than a generation, our workplaces and government policies have not kept pace with America’s new reality.

Most children are growing up in homes with both parents working or with single parents. One-third of workers don’t have access to paid sick leave, and only 42 percent have paid personal leave. What’s the impact on public health when working people can’t afford to take sick days during a flu epidemic? Who takes care of a sick child? Who’s home to fix dinner and help with homework? Who can dedicate time to a sick elderly parent?

The recession and jobless recovery have complicated life further for working families, when having to leave work for a family emergency could lead to long-term unemployment.



Work and Family Toolkit

Collective bargaining provides working people the opportunity to make their workplaces work for working families. Many unions have arrived at innovative agreements that help working people meet their family obligations while ensuring the employer can succeed.

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Related AFL-CIO Now Blog Posts

Related Blog Posts

11 Ways the 'Schedules that Work' Act Would Make the Lives of Working Families Better

Kenneth Quinnell
11 Ways the 'Schedules that Work' Act Would Make the Lives of Working Families Better

On Tuesday, Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced the "Schedules That Work" Act to provide federal guidelines for making sure that employers offer fair, flexible and reliable schedules for working families who are often left in difficult situations because of erratic employer scheduling. Miller said the act is about "dignity" and ensuring workers can earn a decent living and meet family responsibilities.

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