GOP Ignores Benefits of Paid Family Leave
Get back to work: the 'family values' party doesn't seem to like mothers
The subject of paid leave for all American workers has been a hot topic in recent years. Currently, the United States stands alone as the only industrialized nation in the world without required paid leave for workers. More people are speaking out about the issue, though, and some of the presidential candidates have weighed in as well.
Most of the major Republican contenders see no room for paid family leave in their political platforms. For Donald Trump, paid family leave is one of the few things he seems to not have much to say about. In an interview with Fox Business, he said, "Well, it's something that's being discussed. I think we have to keep our country very competitive so you have to be careful of it, but certainly there are a lot of people discussing it."
The exception among the Republicans is Marco Rubio. According to his website, Rubio's plan is, "A 25% non-refundable tax credit for businesses that voluntarily offer at least four weeks of paid family leave, limited to twelve weeks of leave and $4,000 per employee each year."
Rubio stands alone in his party, though. Sen. Ted Cruz has a slightly optimistic view, saying that he supports both maternity and paternity leave on a personal level, "But I don't think the federal government should be in the business of mandating them."
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, meanwhile, hardly even acknowledges the issue. When asked what he thinks should be done about the fact that the U.S. is so far behind the rest of the world with paid family leave, he said, "I don't think we need more federal rules."
Carly Fiorina said in an interview with CNN that the private sector "is doing the right thing because they know it helps them attract the right talent."
While Fiorina is correct that paid leave policies attract the right talent, she is incorrect regarding how many companies are putting it into practice. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 12 percent of all private industry workers received paid family leave in 2013.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose poor performance in recent polls and absence from the main stage of the last GOP debate may indicate a dropout from the race soon, said of the issue, "I'm not, as president, going to mandate that each business give paid sick leave." He spoke against the issue for the state of New Jersey, in which some municipalities are mandating paid sick time, saying it "make[s] New Jersey less and less competitive. And then when businesses leave the state, they want to know why."
DiversityInc Top 50
However, the assertion that such policies make businesses less competitive is inaccurate, as demonstrated by DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity — all of which offer telecommuting to their employees to promote a work-life balance, compared to just 58 percent of other companies across the country, according to a 2013 SHRM report. Top 50 Companies have consistently outperformed the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
According to Ellen Williams, Assistant Director of Diversity & Inclusiveness at EY (No. 4 on the Top 50), "Early on our journey, which started back in the 1990s, we began working with moms to provide work life balance. Today, we now focus [on] offering flexibility to all of our people." By providing the opportunity for a work-life balance, Williams says, "we meet the needs of our employees."
TD Bank (No. 39) strives to extend such practices to all of their employees. "Both full time and part time TD Bank employees are eligible to accrue Paid Time Off, allowing part time working parents the same flexibility as full time employees," explained Cyndi DiCastelnuovo, Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion at TD. She also added that the company offers paid maternity and paternity leave, active duty leave for military members and leave for people who have to take care of an ill relative.
Accenture (No. 15) recently increased its maternity-leave benefits to include up to 16 weeks of paid leave for all of its U.S. employees, both full and part time. The company also provides eight weeks of paid paternity leave for any other primary caregiver of a child. Stephen J. Rohleder, Group Chief Executive — North America, emphasized the need to give back to employees who work hard, said, "Providing our people with these career opportunities that are unmatched in the industry means that we must help them navigate the choices and challenges of caring for a new child while they continue pursuing their careers."
Rohleder also explained the benefits for the company when implementing such generous policies: "These expanded benefits will help us attract, retain and inspire the best people."
All three major Democratic contenders are already aware of the overwhelming benefits of paid family leave and have made public their support for it.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a 2014 interview with CNN said that while she was not sure if federally mandated paid leave could realistically be implemented yet, she definitely supported it: "I have been a strong proponent of … giv[ing] more people the chance to do what is most important in life," she also said at the time. "And that is to balance work and family, and to take care of your family obligations, whether it's a newborn child, a sick child, an aging relative or any other emergency."
In 2014, Clinton suggested trying different policies at the state level in order to determine the best strategy to execute nationally. "States try things out. And then we check to see how it's working, and then we try to take it to the national level," she explained. "So, I think, with paid leave, we ought to encourage states and localities that have the political will to do this to begin to implement it, and then we ought to try to see how we can expand it."
Recently, Clinton has cited the success of California's paid leave program as an example to follow nationwide: "It has not had the ill effects that the Republicans are always saying that it will have, and I think this is typical Republican scare tactics."
At the Oct. 13 Democratic debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) pointed out that the U.S. is alone in its lack of paid leave policies. "Here's the point: every other major country on Earth, every one, including some small countries, say that when a mother has a baby, she should stay home with that baby. We are the only major country," he said. "That's not what the American people want."
Sanders's belief does not extend only to mothers, though. He is a co-sponsor of the FAMILY Act, which would give working mothers and fathers 12 weeks of leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child. This also covers time needed to take care of a seriously ill spouse, child or domestic partner, or if the employee is suffering from a serious health condition.
Former Baltimore Mayor and former Gov. of Maryland Martin O'Malley also expressed his support for the FAMILY Act. In a Sept. 15 op-ed for The Gazette, titled "America succeeds when women and families succeed," he made his beliefs very clear: "All parents — both men and women, gay or straight, married or single — should be able to take at least 12 weeks of leave, with pay, in order to care for newborn children or other loved ones."
Anna Kelley, a Project Manager at TD Bank—and U.S. Air Force veteran—gets real about her service, her mental health challenges and why it's so important for companies to actively recruit veterans.
Originally Published by TD Bank.
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Originally Published by EY.
While today's social climate has been associated with controversy and disagreements, it also seems to be banding people together in a more positive way – surprisingly at work. Regardless of background, gender, sexual orientation or race, individuals are coming together in search of a sense of community and belonging, with many expecting and finding it within the workplace. In fact, in the context of work, research shows that when people feel like they belong, they are more productive, motivated and engaged as well as 3.5 times more likely to contribute to their full, innovative potential.
The new EY "Belonging Barometer" study uncovers how more than 1,000 employed adult Americans define belonging, what makes them feel like they belong at work and what makes them feel excluded in the workplace.
Key finding one: Diversity and Belonging are Workplace Expectations
Nearly half of American workers believe that diversity is best represented at work and over a third feel the greatest sense of belonging at work.
- Forty-five percent of respondents believe that diversity is best represented at their place of work
- Second only to home (62 percent), one third (34 percent) of respondents feel the greatest sense of belonging at work, ahead of their physical neighborhood (19 percent) and place of worship (17 percent)
- When asked in what ways do you feel like you belong at work:
- More than half (56 percent) of respondents feel they belong most at work when they feel trusted and respected, with baby boomers feeling this way the most at 63 percent, compared to Gen X at 56 percent and millennials at 53 percent
- Thirty-nine percent of respondents feel they belong most at work when they have the ability to speak freely and voice their opinion
- One third (34 percent) feel they belong most at work when their unique contributions are valued, with White respondents agreeing the most at 36 percent, followed by Black respondents at 31 percent and Hispanic respondents at 27 percent
Key finding two: Regular Check-ins Prevent Workers from Checking Out
Thirty-nine percent of respondents say that when colleagues check in with them about how they are doing both personally and professionally, they feel the greatest sense of belonging at work.
- 44 percent of women and 33 percent of men agree
- This response was most popular across all generations, with 35 percent of millennials, 40 percent of Gen X and 45 percent of baby boomers agreeing
- Across all generations, the "check-in" took priority over actions such as public recognition (23 percent), being invited to out of office events (20 percent), being asked to join a meeting with senior leaders (14 percent) and being included on emails with senior leaders (9 percent)
Key finding three: Is Exclusion a Form of Bullying? Women Seem to Think So
The majority of women (61 percent) believe that exclusion is a form of bullying in the workplace, the majority of men (53 percent) believe it is not.
- More than half (54 percent) of all respondents believe that exclusion is a form of bullying at work, 46 percent do not
- 68 percent of the LGBTQ community believe that exclusion is a form of bullying
- Fifty seven percent of Latino respondents believe that exclusion is a form of bullying, compared to 53 percent of White respondents and half (50 percent) of Black respondents
- Generationally, nearly half of millennials (48 percent) feel the strongest that exclusion is nota form of bullying, compared to 46 percent of Gen X and 44 percent of baby boomers
Key finding four: The Emotional Barometer: Social Exclusion Makes People Feel Physically Ignored, Stressed, Sad and Even Angry
When social exclusion happens at work, people feel physically and emotionally isolated. More than 40 percent of respondents across generations and genders feel physically alone, or in other words, ignored. Others also experience feelings of stress (26 percent of males) and sadness (28 percent of women).
- Millennials are most likely to feel ignored (38 percent), stressed (30 percent) and lonely (24 percent)
- Gen X are most likely to feel ignored (41 percent), stressed (27 percent) and sad (26 percent)
- Baby boomers are most likely to feel ignored (45 percent), angry (26 percent), stressed (21 percent) and sad (21 percent)
The artist made it clear on Twitter that she doesn't want her hit song being played.
Rihanna is the latest artist to ban her music from being played at rallies featuring President Donald Trump.
Washington Post White House Bureau Chief Philip Rucker said Sunday on Twitter that Rihanna's hit song "Don't Stop the Music" was playing at a Trump rally in Chattanooga, Tenn., ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections:
It's been said a million times, but here's a million and one — Trump's rallies are unlike anything else in politics. Currently, Rihanna's “Don't Stop the Music" is blaring in Chattanooga as aides toss free Trump T-shirts into the crowd, like a ball game. Everyone's loving it.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) November 4, 2018
Rihanna responded to Rucker's tweet:
Not for much longer...me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies, so thanks for the heads up philip! https://t.co/dRgRi06GrJ
— Rihanna (@rihanna) November 5, 2018
Rihanna has sold 124 million digital singles in the U.S., which is 10 million more than any other artist, according to Forbes.
Last month, she turned down an offer by the NFL to headline the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime Show because she stands in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and NFL players who take a knee.
Soon after, actress Amy Schumer posted on social media that she was turning down a chance to appear in a Super Bowl commercial. Schumer also said it "would be cool" if Maroon 5, scheduled to perform, would reject the offer, like Rihanna did.
Last week, Pharrell Williams sent a cease-and-desist letter to President Trump to stop him from using his music. On the same day as the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, Trump hosted a Midwest campaign rally where "Happy" was on the playlist.
"There was nothing 'happy' about the tragedy inflicted upon our country on Saturday and no permission was granted for your use of this song for this purpose," the letter states.
At a rally last week for Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate in the Georgia gubernatorial race, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) was captured on video dancing to "Happy," and it went viral.
"Get it legend."
Get it legend https://t.co/I88GYAFkdg
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) November 2, 2018
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