April 9, 2020

A Personal Message from Cherita Ellens, CEO of Women Employed

Act Now to Make an Impact

Closing the Gaps in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

For the first time in history, millions of working people in America have access to paid sick time and paid family and medical leave, thank to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which went into effect on April 1st. Thanks to each and every one of you who took action to make this emergency measure a reality. 

It’s a major step forward, but it leaves out millions of working people. There are exemptions for employers with more than 500 or fewer than 50 employees. And the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued rules that expansively interpret those exemptions, excluding millions more.  

Women Employed is joining our national partners to demand the DOL and policymakers to close those gaps by:  
  • Limiting small business exemptions, 
  • Limiting exemptions for health care providers and emergency responders, 
  • Including 12 weeks of emergency paid leave, 
  • Increasing outreach and education, 
  • Creating robust enforcement to protect workers’ rights to paid leave, and 
  • Improving paid leave provisions in future relief packages. 

We’re also looking to state and local leaders to help fill those gaps. Our Illinois Paid Leave Coalition is urging leaders in Springfield to pass permanent paid sick days for all workers as soon as they can. 

You can help! Take action both in Illinois and nationally by clicking the links above this article. Thank you! 

One Stop Shop for Resources Working People and Adult Students Need Now

We’ve compiled resources for working people and for adult students to help keep you safe, and to help those who are differentially impacted by COVID-19 access support and resources needed to get through this crisis. We will update these as often as necessary.

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