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Sunday News Update: September 7, 2014

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Welcome to Brain, Child’s Sunday policy update where we look at  issues impacting women and children with Valerie Young, Public Policy Analyst for Mom-mentum (Formerly known as NAMC)  National Association of Mothers’ Centers.

It’s back to school and back to work in the nation’s Capital.  With the mid-term elections coming in November, no one expects much to be going on even though Congress is back in session.  However, notable events are occurring elsewhere.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is languishing in the US Congress, but the states are having more success protecting pregnant women at work.  Illinois has passed a pregnancy workplace protection law that will go into effect next January.  New Jersey, Delaware, and West Virginia also recently passed similar bills.  Their aim is to keep pregnant women on the job as long as possible, and prevent employers from forcing them onto unpaid leave or firing them unnecessarily.

California has become only the second state in the Union to pass a paid sick days bill, which should bring some relief to the 44% of its workforce with not a single paid sick day.  Now employers are required to offer at least 3 paid sick days per year to all workers, except those direct care workers who tend to the elderly and disabled in their homes.  They are not covered by the bill.

Gender always makes a difference…..and it’s a big one in terms of who cares for elderly parents more, sons or daughters.  “Women spend as much time as they can caring for their elderly parents, while men do as little as they can, according to a new study” reported by Think Progress.

I see tired women….in this series of charts from the US Department of Labor about the employment of moms and dads according to income, age of children, job sector, and family status.  In every category, the majority of mothers are employed, as are the majority of fathers.  Whether single or married, America’s parents are tapped out, and when moms come home they are still working, they just don’t get paid for it.  How similar, or different, is your situation from most of Americans?  Check ’em out.

Follow Valerie on Facebook at Your (Wo)Man in Washington, and on Twitter @WomanInDC, and find a weekly blog post at

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