IWPR Research News Roundup – December 2017

RESEARCH MAKING THE NEWS

Women are better in tech than men, says a report

By Erin Carson |  | 11.17.17

A report from the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution measured men’s and women’s digital scores, and found that women had stronger skills than men do. The Brookings report, called “Digitalization and the American Workforce,” looked at “information about the knowledge, skills, tools and technology; education and training; work context; and work activities required” for high tech jobs, and it gave women a digital score of 48 versus 45 for men.

Citing: Digitalization and the American Workforce by Mark Muro, Jacob Whiton, and Siddharth Kulmaki, at The Brookings Institution, November 2017

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Women start-ups hampered by bias among male investors: study

By Emily Velasco |  | 11.16.2017

A new study is highlighting one possible reason women aren’t making more headway in Silicon Valley: men prefer to invest in companies run by other men. With men making up 90 percent of venture capitalists, that preference is a bottleneck that keeps women out of the ranks of tech entrepreneurs. […] Because female-led start-ups face tougher funding prospects than male-led start-ups, fewer women enter the tech entrepreneur pipeline that ultimately feeds the ranks of venture capitalists.

Citing: Are Early Stage Investors Biased Against Women? By Michael Ewens and Richard R. Townsend at California Institute of Technology and University of California, San Diego, October 2017

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What we now know about who struggles with student debt

By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel |  | 11.16.2017

Older African Americans and college students with children disproportionately bear the burden of education debt, according to a pair of reports released this week that researchers say show the need for more nuanced solutions from higher education. Americans over age 50 collectively hold $247 billion in outstanding federal education loans, an amount that has grown threefold since 2003, policy analysts at the Urban Institute found. The impact of that debt differs depending on whether borrowers took out the loan for themselves or for family members, according to a report released Thursday by the think tank.

Citing: The Complexity of Education Debt Among Older Americans, by Kristin Blagg and Victoria Lee at The Urban Institute, November 2017

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Violence Against Transgender People Is on the Rise, Advocates Say

By Maggie Astor |  | 11.9.2017

The Human Rights Campaign has documented the killings of 25 transgender people in the United States so far in 2017, compared with 23 last year and 21 in 2015. Other organizations, like Glaad and the Transgender Law Center, have slightly different tallies, but the trend holds. Transgender people have been killed this year in Chicago and in Waxahachie, Tex.; in the Ozarks of Missouri and on the sidewalks of Manhattan. They have been shot, stabbed, burned and, in at least one case, pushed into a river. On average, one to two have been killed somewhere in the United States every week.

Citing: Violence Against the Transgender Community in 2017, by The Human Rights Campaign, October 2017

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On #LatinaEqualPayDay, Advocates Are Pushing for Change

By Lyanne Alfaro |  | 11.2.2017

When it comes to median annual earnings, Latinas make 54 cents compared to a dollar earned by non-Latino white men, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). This means Latinas would have to work 10 more months in a year to reach the same level of pay. Women make almost half of the workforce, and only earn 80 cents to every dollar a man makes. But while non-Latina white women could close that gap by 2059, it would take Latinas until 2233 to reach parity.

Citing: Women’s Median Earnings as a Percent of Men’s 1985-2016 (Full-time, Year-Round Workers) with Projections for Pay Equity, by Race/Ethnicity, by Institute for Women’s Policy Research, November 2017

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NEW RESEARCH REPORTS

Becoming Visible: Race, Economic Security, and Political Voice in Jackson, Mississippi

By Rachel Black and Aleta Sprague, with Aisha Nyandoro | New America | November 2017

This report attempts to reveal how policies created through racial exclusion and oppression are maintained behind a veneer of race-neutrality, and to reject reform efforts that tinker at the margins of this system. In doing so, what we are calling for is nothing less than a new approach to making social policy based on our oldest beliefs about democracy and opportunity that truly affirms the equal humanity and dignity of all people.

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Working with men to support women’s empowerment  

Women for Women International | November 2017

Women’s equality is everyone’s business. All members of society suffer from patriarchal attitudes and have a role to play in promoting gender equality – these are not just “women’s issues.” The emerging literature suggests that there are three main reasons for engaging with men for women’s equality: Men hold important positions of power and influence over societies. Engaging with them as ‘gatekeepers’ can promote more efficient normative change via their influence. Men can become allies who understand the benefits of promoting gender equality and work in partnership with women. Men can also be co-beneficiaries, as patriarchal attitudes reinforce stringent masculine norms that dictate how men should behave and limit the roles a man can play in his family and community.

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Persistent Gaps: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2017

By Karen Schulman and Helen Blank | National Women’s Law Center |November 2017

The average annual cost for full-time care ranges from nearly $3,000 to over $17,000, depending on the age of the child, the type of care, and where the family costs can strain families’ budgets, force parents to use lower-cost care even if they would prefer other options for their children, or prevent parents from working because they cannot a ord care. Child care assistance can enable families to overcome these challenges by helping families pay for child care.

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Trends in College Pricing 2017

By Jaclyn Bergeron and Edward Lu | College Board | October 2017

Both the published tuition and fee prices of colleges and universities and the net prices students pay after subtracting grant aid and tax credits and deductions continued to rise between 2016-17 and 2017-18, even after adjusting for inflation. Average net prices in 2017-18 remain lower at public two-year and private nonprofit four-year institutions than they were in 2007-08 (in 2017 dollars). But each year since 2011-12, net prices have risen in these sectors, as well as at public four-year institutions, as the growth in grant aid slowed relative to the growth in tuition and fees.

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What We’re Reading Today (12/8)

Each morning, IWPR’s @landewatson compiles articles on gender, race, economics, and other policy issues IWPR staff want to know about. See below for what we’re reading today. (Note: articles included do not necessarily reflect the views of IWPR’s staff.)


DOMESTIC POLICY

The Wall Street Journal

Mine the Gap: More Women Embrace Mining Careers

Rachel Pannett, December 8

 

The New York Times

Job Growth Signals Robust Economy, With Gain of 228,000

Ben Casselman, December 8

 

The Washington Post

Exactly how male-dominated are central banks? Here are the numbers.

Cristina Bodea and Tara Iseneker, December 8

 

The Washington Post

The U.S. economy is creating millionaires at an astonishing pace. But what’s it doing for everyone else?

Christopher Ingraham, December 7

 

Moneyish

All-male panels are going extinct and this is a big reason why

Katerina Ang, December 8

 

The Washington Post

Bill would let silenced victims of workplace harassment take their claims to court

Drew Harwell, December 6

 

OPINION

The Washington Post

This woman was a silence breaker on harassment. And she was fired for it, she says.

Petula Dvorak, December 7

 

The New York Times

How Harvard’s Hypocrisy Could Hurt Your Union

Vail Kohnert-Yount and Jared Odessky, December 7

 

The Washington Post

A Welcome College Diversity Push

David Leonhardt, December 7

#GivingTuesday: Support Trusted Research on Women in 2017

#GivingTuesday: Support Trusted Research on Women in 2017

By Allison Lewis, IWPR Development Coordinator

Tuesday, November 28, is #GivingTuesday, a day dedicated to recognizing the amazing work nonprofits do through your generosity. With dedicated support from our donors and followers, IWPR has been able to release more than 100 reports, fact sheets, and briefing papers so far this year. Our experts and research findings have been cited more than 2,000 times in local, state, and national media.

As information speeds through news cycles at a dizzying pace, you turn to the sources that have consistently produced reliable content over the years. It is because of your continued support that IWPR has been able to produce needed research and shape policy conversations in a year when facts and credible analysis are more important than ever.

In the recent wave of headlines on sexual harassment, IWPR’s experts and research have informed coverage of this issue from many angles: what Hollywood can learn from Wall Street, the connection between campus sexual assault and workplace sexual harassment, and how the pay gap and sexual harassment are two sides of the same coin.

Even on topics that may otherwise go overlooked during busy news cycles, such as the number of single mothers in college, IWPR’s research calls attention to important trends. While the number of single mothers in college has doubled over a decade, the availability of on-campus child care—a key support that can help student parents complete their degrees—has declined. In May, the Trump Administration released their budget proposal, which eliminated funding for CCAMPIS, the only federal program that helps low-income student parents access child care. IWPR experts and partners raised awareness about the critical importance of the CCAMPIS program in The Washington Post, Pacific Standard, and Marketplace radio. In response to an in-depth look at the impact of the program, a White House official told Refinery29 in September, “We are working on ways to preserve the program.”

IWPR’s Student Parent Success Initiative highlighted another trend in September: single mothers are three times more likely to enroll in for-profit colleges than their peers without children. MarketWatch, Slate, and the popular podcast, “Death, Sex & Money,” featured the troubling rise of single mothers at for-profits and the recent efforts of the Department of Education to roll back regulations on for-profit colleges.

While #GivingTuesday is a day focused on giving financial support, we know not everyone is able to give in that way. You can support IWPR not only by donating to one of our general or program support funds, but by donating your time and enthusiasm for IWPR and the work that we do.

You can:

  • Make a one-time donation or set up a recurring donation to IWPR by visiting our donation page. (Need inspiration? Any gift helps, but consider donating $21 to recognize the 21 years IWPR has released state-level data on the Status of Women in the States or $30 in honor of IWPR’s upcoming 30th)
  • Create a fundraiser on Facebook for IWPR. Facebook will match $1 million in donations to U.S. nonprofits—up to $50,000 per nonprofit and $1,000 per fundraiser or donate button—and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will also kick in $1 million.
  • Post your own #Unselfie on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, letting your friends and followers know why IWPR’s research is important to YOU. Please click here to download your own #Unselfie template. (Print out, write your reason, and post a selfie online tagging @IWPResearch and using the #Unselfie hashtag.)
  • Like, retweet, and share our social media posts so that more people see the credible, fact-based information our researchers produce.
  • Talk to your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, social media followers, dog walkers (I better stop there, but you know what I mean) about IWPR and its work, letting them know the reason you support us and how they can find out more about our work.
  • Join our Information Network to receive our emails that feature the latest research on women, student parents, and economic security for survivors. Our Research News Roundup compiles the best publicly available research on gender released in the last month.

With your support, IWPR is able to look toward the future and find more ways our research can help women and their families. Please consider donating this #GivingTuesday in whatever capacity you can. We appreciate the continued and growing support over the past 30 years from each person who reads our publications, emails, press coverage, social media updates, and blog posts like this one. We thank you for assisting in IWPR’s ability to remain the leading women-focused think tank in the United States.

IWPR Research News Roundup – October 2017

RESEARCH MAKING THE NEWS

What It’s Like To Fight For Equal Pay When You’re A Latina Construction Worker

By Judith Ohikuare |  | 11.3.2017

These contrasts might seem like trite figures, until one considers, based on a projection from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, that Hispanic women may not achieve equal pay with white men until the year 2233. But this is about so much more than statistics — we wanted to hear first-person accounts of Latina women who are fighting against salary discrimination.

Citing: Women’s Median Earnings as a Percent of Men’s, 1985-2016 (Full-time, Year-Round Workers) with Projections for Pay Equity, by Race/Ethnicity, by The Institute for Women’s Policy Research, November 2017

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Most Americans are Unprepared for the Skyrocketing Cost of Long-Term Care

By Emily Gurnon |  | 10.19.2017

The cost of long-term care just keeps going up and most Americans keep believing — incorrectly — that the government will cover most or all of it. “Our population is aging, living longer, and not prepared,” said David O’Leary, president and CEO of Genworth’s U.S. Life division. […] A private room in a nursing home now costs consumers more than $8,000 a month, or $97,455 a year, according to the report, which provides national median figures.

Citing: Genworth 2017 Cost of Care Survey, by Genworth Financial , October 2017

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New Research Shows Women Freelancers Face a Big Gender Pay Gap

By Nina Zipkin |  | 10.19.2017

The gender wage gap in the United States is a persistent, pervasive issue. While the gap has narrowed over time, Pew Research found in 2015, women were paid 83 percent of what men earn. […] But the pay gap isn’t only a problem in corporate America. For those who make their living as a freelancer, the issue still remains, despite not having to contend with the structures and hierarchies of a traditional office, according to a new study from client management platform Honeybook. The company’s analysis of 200,000 invoices found that women make 32 percent less than men for the same job in the creative economy. Women earn roughly $30,700 a year, while men earn more than $45,400.

Citing: 2017 Gender Pay GapHoneybook | Rising Tide , October 2017

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The Healthy D.C. Economy is Leaving Longtime Black Residents Behind, New Study Finds

By Perry Stein |  | 10.12.2017

The booming and increasingly dynamic D.C. economy is leaving the city’s longtime black residents behind, according to a study released Thursday that examines African American employment, population and housing trends in the nation’s capital. The Georgetown University report, which culled data from several recent studies, found that more than half of all new jobs in the District between 2010 and 2020 will require at least a bachelor’s degree, although only 12.3 percent of black residents in 2014 had graduated from college. It noted the average white household in the region has a net worth of $284,000, while the assets of the average black household are just $3,500.

Citing: An Analysis: African American Employment, Population, & Housing Trends in Washington, D.C. by Maurice Jackson, Ph.D, Georgetown University, October 2017

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Some advice for business on the gender pay gap: World Bank research has found compelling case for offering childcare services to staff

By Sarah Gordon |  | 10.4.2017

[…]Advice on what to do [to close the gender pay gap], though, is hardly lacking. Employers can do little to change societal norms which mean that, even in places like Scandinavia where great progress has been made getting more women into top jobs, they still do the bulk of unpaid work in the home. But there are many effective measures companies can take, and a constant flow of research to help them select what works best. The IFC, for example, a member of the World Bank Group, has just looked at 34 companies around the world that offer childcare services to staff, and found that there is a compelling business case for doing so.

Citing: Tackling Childcare: The Business Case for Employer-Supported Childcare by the International Finance Corporation, October 2017

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When Will the Economy Start Caring About Home-Care Work?

By Annie Lowrey |  | 9.22.2017

Home-health and personal-care work is one of the country’s fastest-growing occupational sectors. But it is one marked by low pay and meager benefits, a problem that might become more urgent as the U.S.’s population continues to age. On top of that, care workers face high rates of wage theft, tax and benefits misclassification, and employer fraud, according to a new report from the National Employment Law Project (NELP), a think tank and advocacy organization.

Citing: Surveying the Home Care Workforce: Their Challenges and the Positive Impact of Unionization, by the National Employment Law Project, September 2017

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NEW RESEARCH REPORTS

Women in the Workplace 2017

By Rachel Thomas et al. | Lean In | October 2017

Women remain underrepresented at every level in corporate America, despite earning more college degrees than men for thirty years and counting. There is a pressing need to do more, and most organizations realize this: company commitment to gender diversity is at an all-time high for the third year in a row. Despite this commitment, progress continues to be too slow—and may even be stalling. One of the most powerful reasons for this is a simple one: we have blind spots when it comes to diversity, and we can’t solve problems that we don’t see or understand clearly.

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One Quarter of Hispanic Children in the United States Have an Unauthorized Immigrant Parent

By Wyatt Clarke, Kimberly Turner, Lina Guzman | National Research Center on Hispanic Families and Children | October 2017

Approximately 1 in 4 U.S. Latino children have a parent who is an unauthorized immigrant, a finding that is striking in its consistency across data sources and methods. This means that there are more than 4 million Latino children in the United States who are at risk of experiencing parental separation and the stress and fear associated with their family’s uncertain legal status. We also found that the likelihood of a Latino child having an unauthorized immigrant parent varies by country of heritage, suggesting varying levels of risk to children’s well-being.

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Meta-Analysis of Field Experiment Shows No Change in Racial Discrimination in Hiring Over Time

By Lincoln Quilliam, Devah Pager, Ole Hexel, Arnfinn H. Midtoen | Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences | October 2017

With the election of the country’s first African-American president in 2008, many concluded that the country had finally moved beyond its troubled racial past. Despite clear signs of racial progress, however, on several key dimensions racial inequality persists and has even increased. For example, racial gaps in unemployment have shown little change since 1980, and the black–white gap in labor force participation rates among young men widened during this time. […] Indeed, while expressions of explicit prejudice have declined precipitously over time, measures of stereotypes and implicit bias appear to have changed little over the past few decades. In this view, far from disappearing, racial bias has taken on new forms, becoming more contingent, subtle, and covert.

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The Impact of Low Unemployment Rates on Disadvantaged Groups

By Cherrie Bucknor and Dean Baker | Center for Economic and Policy Research | October 2017

The 4.2 percent unemployment rate reported for September 2017 is the lowest level since 2001. It is important to recognize that this figure is well below the unemployment rate that many economists— including those at the Federal Reserve Board and the Congressional Budget Office— consider to be  consistent with a stable inflation rate. […] While there have been gains throughout the economy due to the Federal Reserve Board’s decision to allow the unemployment rate to continue to fall (as opposed to raising interest rates sharply to slow the pace of job creation), blacks and Hispanics have benefited disproportionately from the drop in unemployment.

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The 2017 Distressed Communities Index

By Kenan Fikri and John Lettieri | Economic Innovation Group | September 2017

It is fair to wonder whether a recovery that excludes tens of millions of Americans and thousands of communities deserves to be called a recovery at all. Indeed, the consequences extend far beyond the individual communities being left behind. The further we go down the path of geographically exclusive growth, the more we limit our nation’s economic potential as a whole—and the more fractured our society risks becoming in the process. Even residents of prosperous locales have an interest in ensuring a more inclusive map of well-being. The challenge of “reconnecting” distressed communities is urgent and  complex—especially so for policymakers.

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Beyond Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Promoting Safety through Economic Security

Beyond Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Promoting Safety through Economic Security

Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) has provided an opportunity for dialogue about abuse and threats to the safety and wellbeing of our neighbors, friends, and family. This dialogue must continue past the month of October.

As DVAM comes to an end, it is critical to look forward at ways we can continue to support survivors of domestic violence. Economic supports are one of the greatest unmet needs among survivors receiving domestic violence services. Survivors’ economic needs often drive them to stay with abusers longer, leading to increased abuse, injuries, and even fatalities.

The financial effects of intimate partner violence (IPV) are significant and often devastating:

  • On average, IPV stalking victims lose 10 days of paid work, IPV rape victims lose 8.1 days, and IPV physical assault victims lose 7.2 days of work.
  • Total annual health care costs for physically abused women are 42 percent higher than for nonabused women.
  • On average, women lose between $312 and $1,018 in earnings during the year after petitioning for a Protection from Abuse (PFA) civil restraining order.

The economic costs of intimate partner violence are compounded by the economic inequalities faced by specific populations, increasing vulnerability and limiting opportunities to seek safety and justice. For instance:

  • Women of color face a significant wage gap, with Black women earning 63 cents and Hispanic women earning 54 cents for every dollar earned by White men.
  • Women over the age of 65 are more likely than their male counterparts to live in poverty (11.3 percent, compared with 7.4 percent for men), and have nearly $20,000 less in annual total income than their male counterparts.
  • Rural women earn only 79 percent of what women living in urban areas make, and often have limited access to resources such as medical care, legal services, and shelters.

By screening for economic abuse and assessing economic needs, service providers can help address barriers to safety by directing survivors to appropriate services and community resources. Discussing finances in safety planning can also help prevent further economic abuse.

Rebuilding economic security can help pave the way to recovery for survivors. Partnering with workforce development programs or offering career support services can help survivors acquire the skills necessary to obtain quality employment and build economic security. With only 37 percent of domestic violence programs offering legal aid, survivors would also benefit from more in-house legal services or partnerships with discounted or free legal assistance as well as education about their rights regarding housing, employment, and education. In addition, providing survivors with information about Crime Victim Compensation (CVC) and economic relief in the justice system will help support their future economic recovery.

Domestic and sexual violence programs, the civil and criminal justice systems, and communities play distinct and important roles in supporting survivors’ independence and recovery from the costs of abuse, and these groups must recognize and respond to the economic barriers and costs survivors face. For more recommendations on how policymakers and communities can promote economic security among survivors of domestic violence, visit IWPR’s Economic Security for Survivors Project.

Post-hurricane recovery efforts must include women’s voices

By Heidi Hartmann and Geanine Wester

The people in cities and towns across Florida and the Caribbean (as well as those in Houston and the coastal areas) find themselves in the unenviable position that the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast found themselves in just 12 years ago: wondering how to rebuild and recover in the wake of a disastrous storm. Many are looking back to the recovery in post-Katrina New Orleans to learn lessons for what to do this time, which is encouraging, and the rescue effort has already benefitted from lessons learned from Katrina.

The distance of 12 years has produced a body of research on the post-Katrina Gulf Coast that can be instructive for those with the unfortunate task of rebuilding whole communities. One lesson that we hope will be heeded in post-Irma and post-Harvey recoveries: include women — particularly women whose voices might not be easily heard, such as poor women and women of color — in recovery planning.

Women are more vulnerable to climate disasters than men for a number of reasons. Evacuating or rebuilding often comes at a cost, yet in every state in the country, women are more likely to live in poverty than men. This is particularly true in Florida, where a recent report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) in collaboration with the Florida Women’s Funding Alliance found that the state ranked in the bottom third of all states for the share of women living in poverty. The outlook is not promising: women in Florida are more likely to live in poverty than they did in 2004.

What’s worse is that women of color in Florida, as is true in other states, have much higher poverty rates than white women. The poverty rates among Florida’s black women (25.2 percent), Native American (21.4 percent), and Hispanic women (21.2 percent) are about twice as high as for white women (11.9 percent) in the state.

Women, particularly low-income women and women of color, have the greatest stake in effective and humane disaster recovery.

Paid Sick and Safe Days

Paid Sick and Safe Days

Survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking often need time off from work to seek medical care, obtain a protection order, and find shelter or safe housing to protect themselves and their children from harm. Once safe from immediate threats, survivors may need additional time off to work with victim advocates or participate in the justice system. Analysis of data from the National Violence Against Women Survey found that victims of intimate partner violence who were stalked lost an average of 10.1 days of paid work per year, those who were raped lost an average of 8.1 days per year, and those who experienced physical violence lost 7.2 days per year. Taking time off is often necessary to achieve safety, yet it can have a significant impact on survivors’ economic security. Paid sick and safe laws allow survivors to seek critical services when needed without having to jeopardize their ability to pay bills or their employment.

San Francisco was the first city to adopt a policy in 2007. Since then eight states and more than 30 counties and cities have enacted paid sick and safe leave policies. While individual statutes vary, these paid leave laws generally allow eligible employees to accrue time off that can be used to recover from an illness or take care of a sick family member without the loss of income or risk of losing their job. Many statutes include safe leave provisions for domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking victims to take paid time off to help ensure their safety and well-being. Approved activities may include seeking medical attention for injuries or counseling, obtaining victim and/or legal services, relocating oneself and one’s family, and participating in investigations or court proceedings related to abuse.

Protections for survivors vary by state with some including paid leave for domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking (Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) while others only cover domestic and sexual violence (Connecticut) or domestic violence (Massachusetts). Of counties and cities with paid sick and safe leave ordinances, San Diego, San Francisco, Emeryville, and Los Angeles, CA; Chicago/Cook County, IL; Montgomery County, MD; Philadelphia, PA; New Brunswick, NJ; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; and Seattle and Spokane, WA, have coverage for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. While Berkeley and Oakland, CA; New Jersey City, Newark, Irvington, Passaic, East Orange, Paterson, Trenton, Montclair, Bloomfield, Elizabeth, Plainfield, and Morristown, NJ; and New York City, have paid sick leave policies they do not include safe time coverage for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Coverage also often depends on the size of the employer and occupation, and accrual of paid sick hours often begins at the start of employment. When eligible, employers generally require a certain period of employment prior to accessing paid leave. For survivors protected by these laws, paid leave may mean the difference between risking their income and employement to be safe and maintaining economic independence so that they may be free from abuse in future.

For more information on these statutes and sick and safe leave campaigns, visit A Better Balance, Family Values@Work, or the National Partnership for Women and Families.