Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Can Georgia do more for working families?

9to5 is a leading member of the Georgia Job/Family Collaborative -- a statewide coalition of organizations working to pass the Parent Protection Act (HB 37). This act would give Georgia workers 24-hours each year of unpaid leave to take care of family obligations, such as registering children for school and taking children, a spouse, or an elderly relative to routine medical appointments. Sounds simple enough, right? But currently in Georgia, which is an at-will employment state, many workers could face penalties at work (including termination!) if they take off work for these reasons.

Take 9to5 member Vickie, for example. After working for more than 20 years at the same printing plant in Atlanta, she lost her job because she refused to work three hours of "mandatory overtime" after completing her regular eight hour shift. Vickie refused overtime because that was the only day she could register her children for the upcoming school year and for the after-school program they attended until she got off work.

If the Parent Protection Act becomes law, working mothers like Vickie would be guaranteed time off -- at no cost to employers! -- to take care of necessary family responsibilities.

Tell your state representative to support working families by passing HB 37! Tell them your story! Find contact information for your legislator here. (Just enter your zip code in the box on the left and then click on "current officials." This bill is currently in the Georgia House of Representatives, so contact your Georgia Representative.)

To find out more about the Georgia Job/Family Collaborative, to join the coalition, or to see a sample letter to send to your legislator, please visit our website or send us an email at

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