Paid Time Off (PTO) banks are an alternative to traditional paid leave plans that consolidate multiple types of leave (paid vacation, sick, and personal days) into a single plan. An employer does not designate leave for any particular reason, but instead simply gives employees one “bucket” of leave. Nearly one in five employees in the United States receive leave in the form of a PTO bank, but the contours of such policies are often little understood—especially outside of the human resources community. While private consulting firms have published studies on the use of such plans in the private sector for years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) just began releasing some information about consolidated leave plans (i.e., PTO banks) in 2010. This report explores what is known, and what needs more study, about PTO banks.
Each year, OWL team members, board members and other volunteers gather together to decide the most pressing issue facing midlife and older women. This issue is then researched and information is gathered to compile the Mother’s Day Report. These reports are free to all and we hope that you enjoy them!
2012 Women and the Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities Facing Women as They Age
This year’s report looks at how factors such as unemployment and underemployment, pay inequality, caregiving, age and gender discrimination, and education, training, and technology are impacting women age 40 and older. The report highlights existing programs that produce real results and offer innovative solutions and policy-driven recommendations to expand economic diversity and accelerate our nation’s productivity.
New “Retirement Revealed” data looks at women’s retirement planning and financial situations, with additional insights based on age and marital status, and a special report about women currently raising children.
Three essays in favor and three opposed from the U.S. News and World Report Debate Club
From U. S. News & World Report:
After battles over the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and the mandate by President Obama’s healthcare law that religious institutions cover contraceptives for employees, another storm is brewing in Washington over women-oriented issues. The Senate is expected to call a vote in the coming weeks on the Paycheck Fairness Act, an update on 1963’s Equal Pay Act, which made wage discrimination based on one’s sex illegal. With a reported 77 cents to the dollar pay gap between women and men, respectively, persisting nearly five decades later, the Paycheck Fairness Act is designed to help those who believe they are victims of gender-based wage discrimination by making wages more transparent, by requiring that employers prove that wage discrepancies are tied to legitimate business qualifications and not gender, and by prohibiting companies from taking retaliatory action against employees who raise concerns about gender-based wage discrimination. The bill, supported by the Obama administration, was passed by the House in January 2009 only to be stalled in the Senate in November 2010, and was reintroduced in both chambers in April 2011. Democratic National Committee Chair and Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently urged presumed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to take a stand on the bill, bringing it back into the political limelight and putting the pressure on Senate Dems to prioritize a vote on the legislation.
Proponents say that more must be done to close the pay gap between men and women, particularly with much greater participation by women in the workforce since the Equal Pay Act became law. Opponents say that the proposed new law misdiagnoses the problem, questioning the data cited by its supporters, and would unfairly harm small businesses as the economic recovery struggles to pick up steam. Should the Senate pass the Paycheck Fairness Act? Here is the Debate Club’s take.
With a growing need for family-friendly workplace policies, a new study commissioned by the National Partnership for Women & Families, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, concludes that providing paid family leave to workers leads to positive economic outcomes for working families, businesses and the public.
The research, conducted by the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, finds that women who use paid leave are far more likely to be working nine to 12 months after a child’s birth than those who do not take any leave.
The study, led by The University of Manchester and Monash University, Melbourne, and published in the International Journal of Obesity, examined whether a recently developed measure of anti-fat prejudice, the universal measure of bias (UMB), predicted actual obesity job discrimination. The researchers also assessed whether people's insecurity with their own bodies (body image) and conservative personalities such as, authoritarianism, and social dominance orientation were related to obesity discrimination, as they are related to homophobia and racism.
Psychologist and lead researcher Dr Kerry O'Brien said the nature of the study was initially concealed from the participants to avoid biased results, and simply advertised as a study on whether some people are better at personnel selection than others.
Are women really on track to become “the richer sex” and replace men as primary breadwinners in American families, as recent headlines suggest? Not quite. The notion that women are outpacing men on the job has become a popular media narrative over the past few years. But the data on which it’s based don’t hold up.
Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that, in fact, we’re in the middle of a “mancovery”—while women are slipping backwards. Between June 2009 and June 2011, women lost close to 300,000 jobs, while men gained more than 800,000. “We've never seen a recovery like this,” the National Women's Law Center's Joan Entmacher told NPR, “where two years into the recovery women are doing so much worse than men and are actually losing ground.”
Still, the popular perception is that women are soaring. Much is made of the “fact” that more than 40 percent of American women are their family’s breadwinner. In her recentTime magazine cover piece (adapted fromher new book, The Richer Sex), for example, journalist Liza Mundy cites 2009 Bureau of Labor Statistics data saying that one in four women outearn their spouses. This claim was picked up by scores of media outlets.
But look a bit more closely at the numbers, and the picture doesn’t seem so rosy for women. Which women are advancing? Andwhich men are backsliding? The answers are important if you are going to talk about who’s getting “rich.”
Breast-feeding comes with an often-overlooked cost to new mothers, according to a new study by Phyllis L.F. Rippeyoung, an assistant professor at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, and published in the American Sociological Review.
Breast-feeding comes with a cost to new moms that is often overlooked, according to a new study published in the American Sociological Review. The study looked at data from 1,313 first-time mothers in the U.S. who were in their late 20s or 30s when they gave birth.
Women’s incomes dropped precipitously when they choose to breast-feed for six months or longer -- and they remained low some five years after the babies were born, says the study’s lead author, Phyllis L.F. Rippeyoung, an assistant professor of sociology and coordinator of women’s and gender studies at Acadia University in Nova Scotia.
Rippeyoung’s interest in the hidden costs of breast-feeding was sparked by personal experience. When she became a mom, she was flooded with information about the benefits of breast-feeding -- including the suggestion that it would save her money.
“I thought that it was weird that they were saying it was free,” Rippeyoung remembers. “I was a grad student at the time driving back and forth between teaching and classes, and my milk was drying up since I couldn’t drive and pump at the same time. It was a very difficult thing, but I had to stop breast-feeding. If I’d continued I couldn’t have worked at the same time.”
The data for the new study came from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which included information about the moms’ jobs and incomes, as well as stats on their family life, including the decision to give their babies formula or to breast-feed for a short duration (less than six months) or a long duration (six months or more).
In 1996 the federal government enacted “welfare reform” legislation eliminating “welfare as we know it” by replacing Aid to Families with Dependent Children or “AFDC” with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families or “TANF” as the national welfare program for families with children. Since its inception in 1996 to the present, TANF has continuously shrunk the share of poor families aided by the program. Benefit amounts, already quite meager even prior to welfare reform, have fallen further below the official poverty level. Read the report in the link below.