Workers in Virginia put in long hours to provide for their families and keep our economy moving forward. And yet, many of them lack access to basic benefits that others take for granted. The last few years have shown us, more than ever before, the importance of taking care of the needs of workers. Enacting family care policies is not only good for workers, but it’s the right thing to do.
Paid Family & Medical Leave
Whether a worker is welcoming a new child to the family or having to take care of a sick loved one, paid family and medical leave would guarantee 12 weeks of paid leave, alleviating the worry of missing out on a paycheck or the burden of returning to work sooner than they’re ready. By taking care of workers with paid leave when they need it, we’re allowing people to focus on the needs of their families during some of the most critical times.
Earned Sick Time
When workers get sick and go into the office, they not only risk spreading their illness to their colleagues and customers, but they don’t allow themselves the time and space they need to heal. Every worker in Virginia needs a minimum of 40 hours of earned sick time every year so they can prioritize their health needs before returning to work.
Quality, Affordable Child Care
Families across Virginia depend on quality child care in order to work, but it’s rarely affordable. And often, families find that it’s cheaper for one parent to stay in the home than work because of the cost. No family should have to make this decision. Virginia needs increased access to quality, affordable child care programs in every zip code across the Commonwealth.
Long-Term Elder Care
Living and aging at home should be a viable option for any Virginian who wishes to do so. We need to ensure that Virginia has the infrastructure and workforce in place to meet the growing demand for in-home nurses and care staff AND it’s affordable and available to everyone.
Affordable Prescription Drugs
Drug prices are continually on the rise and people are often forced to ration life-saving medications in order to afford other needs. No person should have to make this type of decision. We must evaluate drug costs and ensure caps are in place so that drug companies don’t line their pockets at the expense of people’s lives.