June 30, 2013

Poverty in Oregon’s Working Families

People have a lot of ideas about who is poor and why  — some accurate, some inaccurate.  We prefer the facts, and believe that the more people know them the more people will support the smart policies that we advocate for today’s families to be economically secure while raising a family.  When it comes to […]

June 27, 2013

“Right to Request” Law Passes in Maine

There are many ways we can improve the policies in our country to make work work for families.  One is the “right to request,” which enables workers to request flexible work schedules and get an official answer why not if denied.  Importantly, these laws  prevent employer retaliation for workers who make a request.  The state of Vermont just passed the first state law of this kind in the U.S. Not surprisingly workers in several other countries have long enjoyed this right.

June 27, 2013

TAKE ACTION: More funds for childcare!

We think our child care affordability problem deserves a BIG conversation and ultimately a systems overhaul.  But until that happens, the state should at least adequately fund its program to help low-income Oregon parents afford the child care they need to be able to get and keep a job.

June 25, 2013

Oregon House Passes Retirement Security Bill!

The Oregon House of Representatives today passed HB 3436B in a 33-25 vote. The bill, chief sponsored by Representative Jules Bailey of Portland and Senator Lee Beyer of Eugene—and supported by Governor John Kitzhaber and Treasurer Ted Wheeler creates a task force to study and recommend a solution that will enable all working Oregonians to […]

June 21, 2013

Pregnancy & Parenting in the American Workplace: Your Questions Answered

A terrific new book is out from the impressive folks at A Better Balance in New York. It’s called Babygate: What You Really Need to Know about Pregnancy and Parenting in the Workplace and it does two things we think are important to be done together: helps new and expecting parents navigate their own workplaces for the best personal and family outcomes possible and explains why meeting the competing demands of work an family in the U.S. is so much harder than in other countries. It also shows us what’s possible and hopefully inspires readers to jump in and help modernize our outdated work-family policies.

June 19, 2013

AARP Says: Modernize Workplace Leave Policies

A new report from AARP argues for improving family leave for working caregivers, citing the growing population of older Americans, increasing numbers of family caregivers on the job, and escalating demands and stress on caregivers.  Keeping Up with the Times: Supporting Family Caregivers with Workplace Leave Policies points to three policy solutions to ease the burden on both caregivers and employers: unpaid family and medical leave, paid family and medical leave insurance, and earned sick time.

June 16, 2013

Modern Dads Need Modern Policies

The Pew Research Center recently published a report called ”Modern Parenthood” about the changing roles of moms and dads and how both now struggle to meet the often competing demands of work and family. What they found won’t startle many parents in the trenches today: the roles of moms and dads are converging, especially in dual-income families<b>. </b>Moms are doing more paid work outside the home, dads are doing more unpaid care work inside the home, and both now report work-family conflict in nearly equal numbers (56% of mothers and 50% of fathers) – a real shift from decades past when working mothers bore the brunt of juggling work and family.

June 6, 2013

Statewide Sick Time: Next Steps

Supporters packed a second hearing for HB 3390 in the House Committee on Rules on June 5, 2013. Many people representing public health and family advocates, health providers, union members, domestic violence service providers, employers and business associations delivered written or personal testimony in favor of the proposed statewide paid sick days policy. During the hearing, Rules Committee Chair Val Hoyle charged Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward and Representative Jessica Vega Pederson, who both testified in support of the bill, with the job of chairing an interim work group with stakeholders to look in-depth at the issue and come back to the legislature with an amended bill.

June 6, 2013

Childcare Not Affordable in Oregon

The main findings in Oregon State University’s newly released report on childcare affordability and access in Oregon (Child Care in Oregon and Its Counties: 2012) are not surprising: the long-term trend towards higher prices for care and lower wages for those paying the bill and providing the care continues.

Report author Bobbie Weber calculated that between 2004 and 2012, the cost of childcare increased 13% and wages decreased by 9% (15% for single mothers).  A finding that reinforces what we already know: childcare is not a good the market provides well and its failings make it harder for parents to work and less likely that kids have equal access to quality early-life learning. The report includes several interesting data points that ought to be a wake-up call:

May 28, 2013

Our family leave conversation: Urgent & incomplete

There is a growing conversation in Oregon and across our country about family leave — because the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 is insufficient in two key ways: it’s unpaid and doesn’t cover all workers. Family Forward Oregon’s Executive Director Andrea Paluso wrote this guest opinion piece to raise awareness about the failings of what we (don’t) have now, and to make sure that anyone thinking about a pathway forward on family leave is working toward a paid program.

May 24, 2013

Unequal Pay? Unhappy Hour!

June 10, 2013 is the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Equal Pay Act by then-President John F. Kennedy. At that time, women earned $0.58 to a man’s $1. Today? A whopping $0.78. Improvement, yes. Enough of one? Hell no.

Join us for an (un)happy hour  to mark this important date & celebrate the passing of SB 744, an Oregon bill that requires a state-specific pay inequity study and recommendations to close the gender wage gap. Recommendations which we plan to see through.