New Paid Sick Time Victories, Men and Caregiving, LGBT Parental Rights and more.

Paid Sick Time Victories in the Midwest
More workers in the Midwest are winning the right to paid sick time! In September, Saint Paul became the second city in Minnesota to pass a paid sick time law, and we were delighted to help draft the legislation. Saint Paul joins Minneapolis in ensuring that workers in the twin cities receive paid sick time to care for personal or family health needs. More recently, Cook County joined Chicago and passed a paid sick time law that will apply throughout Illinois’ most populous county. A Better Balance submitted testimony in support of the Cook County bill. We are thrilled that the Saint Paul and Cook County paid sick time laws both include a family definition that includes all loved ones, continuing the momentum for recognizing that families come in all shapes and sizes. We congratulate our partners on the ground in Illinois and Minnesota on these big victories!
Paid Family and Medical Leave Findings Symposium
On September 27, Staff Attorney Molly Weston Williamson traveled to D.C. for the Department of Labor’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Findings Symposium. The event brought together lawmakers, researchers, and advocates from across the country to hear about results from recipients of the Department’s grants to study potential paid family and medical leave programs at the city and state level. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez also moderated a panel featuring key business leaders, including 2014 ABB Distinguished Corporate Citizen Tom Nides.

Preston Van Vliet on the “New Directions in the Paid Sick Days Movement” panel.
On September 29 and 30, advocates and government officials came together in San Francisco to share strategies and ideas for outreach, education, and enforcement of paid sick time laws across the country.  Contributing to the success of the conference, Preston Van Vliet, ABB/FV@W National Campaign Organizer for the LGBTQ Work Family Project, presented on the plenary panel “New Directions in the Paid Sick Days Movement.”  He spoke passionately about the need for expanded definitions of family in all of our leave laws, making a strong case for allowing workers to care for those related to them “by blood or affinity.”  Sherry Leiwant, ABB Co-President, ran a workshop, “Imagining Your Ideal Paid Sick Days Law” on crafting a perfect paid sick time law.
Addressing Male Caregivers with the Columbia Law Feminist Society
On September 29, Senior Staff Attorney Phoebe Taubman spoke at a luncheon organized by the Columbia Law Feminist Society to address the topic of men and caregiving.  The event was well attended by a diverse group, reflecting students’ keen interest in the subject from both professional and personal perspectives.  In addition to addressing the legal rights of male caregivers and ways for them to combat stigma at work and in social situations, the group discussed strategies for men who do not intend to be primary caregivers to be more involved parents.
On the Road to Parenthood
On October 5, A Better Balance participated for the third year in a row in the New York City LGBT Community Center’s “On the Road to Parenthood” series—a program for LGBT community members who are beginning to think about parenthood. Jared Make, Senior Staff Attorney, and Marcella Kocolatos, Law Fellow, presented information on the workplace rights of LGBT parents in the New York City metropolitan area, with a focus on the federal Family and Medical Leave ActNew York’s new paid family leave lawpaid sick time, and pregnancy nondiscrimination protections. They also gave general tips on how to discuss these topics with employers, and answered questions from community members at various stages on the road to parenthood.

a message from POTUS: Washington State — Vote4DEMs —

Jay Inslee


We have a new television ad up and running — and it’s one I’m particularly proud to share with you.

I’m honored to have President Obama’s support. He is an outstanding role model — for our kids, for the kind of leadership we should aspire toward.

You can watch the President’s endorsement here:

Watch the ad

Please take a moment to watch the President’s message and then help us keep it on air!

From rebuilding our economy, expanding health care, protecting the rights of women, fighting for equal rights for the LGBTQ community, preserving our environment, promoting common sense gun safety regulations, and protecting civil rights (I could go on and on and on), President Obama has led America with remarkable dignity, passion, and vision.

Here in Washington, President Obama has supported our vision for a stronger economy for working families, and for a clean energy future. He and I know that to fulfill our progressive vision we need to win this November — not just Hillary’s race and my race, but the state legislature and initiatives, like raising the minimum wage and ensuring paid sick leave, up and down the ballot.

That’s why I’m proud to have the President’s endorsement — and his friendship.

Thank you for helping us get this ad out across the state. I know it will make a difference.

Very truly yours,

Jay Inslee

I was fired from my job during my daughter’s cancer treatment

Petitioning Elemis

Elemis fires employee after child’s cancer diagnosis! #ElemisgoGOLD for Childhood Cancer!

Petition by Heather Lane
Miami, Florida
Elemis is a luxury British skincare brand which claims to reach over 6.5 million people per year. I worked for this brand for 2 years as a Territory Manager covering the Southeast US. Shortly after returning from maternity leave in June 2015 my daughter was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma Cancer.

She received an emergency spinal surgery to remove part of the primary tumor which compressed her spine and caused paralysis. She then received 8 cycles of chemotherapy for the metastasized disease on her liver, lungs, kidney, skull, lymph node and bone marrow.

While she was in ICU I communicated with Elemis regarding the emergency situation. HR, regional manager, and even the President of the company replied with prayers and well wishes. My extended FMLA request was then denied and I received a termination letter in the mail. 

The past year has been incredibly difficult! Not only did I lose the income for my family, but my daughter did not have private health insurance while receiving cancer treatment after I was fired. I wrote a letter to the owner and did not receive a reply. I have fought hard to get her to the best cancer center in NYC and we continue to travel every 3 months for follow up. The least this company can do is make a generous donation in support of childhood cancer research which only receives 4% of national funding. Gold is the color of childhood cancer awareness! Help us spread the word.

Elemis promotes their “pink” products every October for breast cancer awareness month. I hope to reach as many of their 6.5 million consumers to raise awareness for not only my child, but all of the children in need of our voice for change! It is time to make this right, Elemis GO GOLD!

Please sign and share.

twitter: @elemis_gogold

instagram: elemis_gogold