Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Paid Sick Leave for Preventive Health Care and Healthy Lives

Woman receives mammogram (3)The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) highlighted some important statistics on the relationship between paid sick leave and preventive health care.

Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect in 2010, health care access has opened up to numerous Americans, including low-income earners who were previously uninsured and women seeking preventive care. Unfortunately, too many Americans simply do not have the time to actually receive these services.

More than 40 million workers in the U.S. (39 percent) have no paid sick days and nearly 95 million workers (87 percent) have no paid family leave. 80 percent of low-wage workers earning $15,000 or less per year have no paid sick days.

Work protections such as paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave are crucial for preventive health care, which in turn is key for healthy and safe lives. Routine health checkups and screenings can help prevent or detect early on diseases and other health problems, but a 2015 study found that women without paid sick leave were 12 percent less likely to undergo breast cancer screening than women with paid sick leave.

A similar trend was found with attention to prenatal care. Additionally, about half of Americans who qualify for unpaid job protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) defer or choose to forgo care altogether because the financial cost of taking unpaid time off is too great.

21 jurisdictions have now passed earned sick days laws, but the need for such minimum standards continues.

Interested in PathWays PA blog posts on similar topics?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Election Day is May 19 in Pennsylvania!

I Voted StickerIf you live in Pennsylvania, don't forget to go to the polls tomorrow, May 19! Your vote matters more than ever, especially when it comes to the policies that affect women, girls, and families like the ones we serve every day.

The following information is for people who are registered to vote in Pennsylvania. There is a printable 2014 PA know your rights guide available.

  • If you live in another state, or have questions that are not answered in this post, please visit http://www.vote411.org/.

Who is Running for Office?

On May 19, statewide elections will be held for positions on the State Supreme and Superior Courts. There may also be municipal elections (such as for mayor and City Council) and school board elections in your town. Some municipalities will also have special ballot questions. You can see who is running in your races at SmartVoter.org.

Will I Need Voter ID?

IN MOST CASES, YOU WILL NOT NEED IDENTIFICATION TO VOTE IN THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS. The Voter ID law has been overturned and is no longer in effect. Only first-time voters, voters using a new polling place, and voters using absentee ballots will need to provide ID.

If you are a first-time voter or if you are voting at a new polling place, you should bring an approved form of identification. To see all approved forms, visit the PA Department of State voting website.

Did I Need to Register to Vote?

In Pennsylvania, voters must be registered 30 days prior to each election. If you are not sure if you are registered, you can confirm your registration status in the Pennsylvania voter registration database. If you are not registered to vote in this election, fill out and mail a voter registration form now so you will be ready for the next one!

Where is My Polling Place?

The Pennsylvania Department of State offers an online guide to help find your polling place. In Pennsylvania, the polls are open from 7 AM to 8 PM.

What Should I Bring With Me When I Go To Vote?

If you are a first-time voter or if you are voting at a new polling place, you should bring an approved form of identification. To see all approved forms, visit the PA Department of State voting website.

All voters may bring a list of candidates on the ballot and who they plan to vote for and/or a list of key issues or specific proposals that are on the ballot.

If you have any issues on Election Day, please call 1-866-OUR-VOTE. Be sure to bring this number with you to the polls!

What Are My Rights As a Voter?

Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it is illegal for any state or local government to discriminate against racial, ethnic or language minority groups by denying them the right to vote.

In Pennsylvania, you may ask for assistance to vote as long as that assistance is provided by someone other than your employer (or their agent), your union head (or their agent) or the Judge of Elections. You may choose the person who will assist you - polling workers do not have the right to choose that person for you. The first time you need assistance, you will need to fill out an Assistance Form.

If your name is not in the books at the polling place, or if you have any problems voting, please work with the Election officials to make sure you are at the right place. If you are at the correct polling place, you can vote by provisional ballot. The Board of Elections will examine the provisional ballots within seven days and will count the votes if you were properly registered and voting at the correct polling place. If you are having problems and are at the correct polling place, do not leave without casting a provisional ballot.

If you have any problems at the polls, please call 1-866-OURVOTE.

Interested in PathWays PA blog posts on similar topics?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

New Philadelphia Earned Sick Days Poster is Available

The Managing Director's Office has just released the paid sick days poster that must be shown at all workplaces in the city of Philadelphia beginning on May 13, 2015. You can download your copy here.

You can also download more materials about the earned sick days law from The Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces FAQ page.

If you have questions about earned sick days, contact the coalition at earnedsickdays@gmail.com or contact the city at paidsickleave@phila.gov.

For all information, please keep in mind that it is correct to the best of our knowledge, but it is not exhaustive and should not be taken as legal advice. It is possible that additional provisions or rules from the law, not described here, may apply to your specific circumstances. The City of Philadelphia is responsible for regulating and enforcing this law, and will make final decisions on its interpretation.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Join our Coalition Partners on April 17th at Northampton County Community College!

The Making Work Pay PA Coalition invites you to a discussion about what policies government can implement to ensure PA working families thrive and what we can do to help advocate for those changes.

There will also be an opportunity to hear and share personal stories.

The event will be held in the Community Room of the College Center Building.

The event is free and open to the public. Breakfast will be provided.

This event is hosted by the Making Work Pay PA Coalition and sponsored by the New Choices New Option Program of Northampton County Community College. PathWays PA is a member of the Making Work Pay Steering Committee.

For more information, please visit www.makingworkpaypa.org.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Rising Star Scholarship for Delaware County Women and Girls

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Friends of the Delaware County Women’s Commission and the 30th anniversary of the Women’s Commission, women college students are invited to apply for the organizations’ Rising Star scholarship award of $1,500. 

The scholarship is open to a full or part-time undergraduate student either attending a two or four year college in Delaware County or residing in the county.

The application requires candidates to provide a college transcript, a resume which includes work, community service and leadership experience, letter of reference from a faculty member or employer, and a personal essay of 500 words or less. The topic is Pay Equity and the opportunities available to her that might not have existed in the past.

The awardee will be recognized at the annual dinner of the Friends on June 4th at the Springfield Country Club, and the scholarship funds will be sent directly to her college or university account. 

Applications should be sent to Carol Dougherty, Awards Committee Chair, c/o Garrison Law Offices, 300 W. State Street, Suite 304, Media, PA 19063 or by email to cdoughertyncc@hotmail.com. Deadline for submission is April 20, 2015.

PathWays PA staff have served on the board of the Delaware County Women's Commission and continues to serve on the board of Friends of the Delaware County Women's Commission.

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