Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Make sure you're registered to vote!

I'm sure you're wondering why I'm bringing up voter registration in the middle of June... there are more than 4 months until the next election, right? Well, I'm really excited about voter registration for two reasons:

  • I just registered to vote in Georgia about a month ago and I'm really excited about voting in the Atlanta mayor's race in November!
  • I attended a lobbying/activism training put on by the Women's Policy Group yesterday, and they kept stressing that the easiest way to make your voice heard is to exercise your right to vote!

So, it's true -- there ARE four and a half months until the next election. However, you can check right now to make sure you're registered to vote at your current address and under your current name. If either has changed, you MUST re-register to vote!

  • You can check your registration status online here.
  • If your address or name is incorrect (or if you're not even in the system!), you can download a voter registration form here (this is a PDF document).
Check it out, make sure all of the information is current, and start thinking about who's running in November... it's never too early to be informed!

Monday, June 22, 2009

How many members will YOU recruit?

9to5's Annual Membership Drive may have ended less than a month ago, but the Atlanta Chapter would like to continue the drive's momentum by recruiting 20 new members by August 15th.

The contest starts now! The member who recruits the most new members to the chapter will win a candle-lit meal for two and the runner up will win a certificate for a massage. For more details, click here.

Not sure how to recruit members to 9to5? Just ask!

Think of people you know who might support 9to5's mission and values -- women who you know have needed paid sick days, who have suffered harassment or discrimination on the job, who belong to other women's groups, or who work with organizations you have supported in the past, your mailman, childcare worker, or hairdresser. If you take look around you, I bet you'll find lots of people who would be interested in joining 9to5!

If you'd like any 9to5 brochures, voter guides, or membership forms to help you recruit members, just contact our office at 404-222-0037. Good luck!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Stay Connected to 9to5 Online

In the 9to5 Atlanta office, we've been learning A LOT about technology lately. After all of our hard work, you can now find 9to5's Atlanta chapter on Facebook and Twitter. Check us out!

If you're on facebook, you can join the 9to5 Atlanta Working Women group at here. And if you use the Causes application, you can also support our cause, listed under 9to5, National Association of Working Women. Find our cause here!

Are you on Twitter? If so, I recommend you follow @9to5atlanta. I'm a Twitter newbie, so I'm still learning how everything works... However, we'll write a few new tweets every week about all of our exciting work and upcoming events. Definitely check it out!

PS: pictures of the Atlanta Chapter are posted on Flickr, too!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Atlanta 9to5 Chapter Meeting!

Date & Time:
Saturday, June 20, 2009

11:30am - 1:30pm

The Lotus Palace

3470 Glensford Dr

Decatur, GA
Get directions here!

Join 9to5 members and leaders at the next Chapter Meeting!

You can...
* Develop Leadership Skills
* Learn How to Become an Effective Advocate for Economic and Social Justice
* Meet Other 9to5 Members
* Enjoy fun team building activities ...

A special prize will be awarded to the member who can name five (5) positions that will open for election in our state in 2010!

RSVP to member Leslie Hudson if you are attending this meeting: 404.645.9233

For more information about the meeting, contact Shyria or Yomara by phone: 404.222.0037.

See you there!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dear Helpline

When I told my boss I was pregnant, he said, "That’s unfortunate! You had so much potential." I'm afraid he's going to cut my hours – or worse, fire me. Is this legal? What rights do I have?

You are protected by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act from being discriminated against in employment & employment decisions while you are pregnant. PDA says that all workplaces that engage in interstate commerce (using phones/the internet actually counts for this!) and have 15 or more employees cannot discriminate against pregnant women when making hiring/promotion decisions, cannot force a pregnant woman to take leave, and cannot deny pregnant women the same benefits they give to other "temporarily disabled" employees. Therefore, it is unlawful for your employer to cut your hours, refuse to promote you, or to fire you based solely on your pregnancy. And, if he should do so, that statement he made could be sufficient grounds for filing a discrimination charge with the EEOC.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Trying times call for the Healthy Families Act

By Linda Meric
WeNews correspondent

Three cities have paid sick leave laws and many states are moving in that direction. With millions of workers lacking paid sick leave or care-taking time, Linda Meric says federal lawmakers need to act now.

Editor's Note: The following is a commentary. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily the views of Women's eNews.

(WOMENSENEWS)--These are challenging times for America's families. One in 4 Americans, or about 23 percent of those surveyed in a recent Gallup Poll, report that they are "very worried" about keeping up with their monthly bills over the next six months. That's up from 19 percent a year ago and 15 percent in March 2007.

And while many of us are working harder than ever to keep pace under the current economic pressure, workplace duties are not the only duties we have.

Family responsibilities await us at home. That is why we must pass the Healthy Families Act, introduced in the 111th Congress on May 18 by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut, and Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, also a Democrat.

Workers still get sick. Children still get fevers and runny noses. Mom or Dad still needs to take them to the doctor or just stay by their bedside to nurse them back to health. No matter how dedicated workers are to hanging on to their jobs at all cost, the need to occasionally take time away from work never goes away--not even in a tough recession, not even when jobs are this hard to come by.

Unfortunately, nearly half of private sector workers in the United States don't have a single paid sick day to care for themselves. Additionally, nearly 100 million Americans get no paid time off to care for an ailing child or an aging parent.

Fewer "Wives" at Home

While this is an issue for all workers, the reality is that women, or "wives," have historically been tasked with the family care-giving responsibilities--and most families do not have a "wife" at home these days.

The numbers speak for themselves. According to a 2007 report by the Multi-State Working Families Consortium, "Valuing Families: It's About Time," less than 6 percent of all women in the U.S. were in the work force at the turn of the century. By 1950, that number had climbed to 24 percent; by 2000 to 60 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of single parents--mostly women--has also mushroomed and single mothers are working many more hours than they have in past years. Why? The Valuing Families report attributes this to pent-up demand among women for career opportunity and economic independence--and economic necessity. Simply put, over the last 35 years women's increased work and earnings has been the only avenue for many families to attain or maintain economic self-sufficiency.

Though the flood of women into the work force has been beneficial, it has raised an obvious question for families: how to provide all the care, support and supervision that children need without jeopardizing family economic self-sufficiency. For working women without paid sick days, occasionally staying home when a child is ill could mean the loss of a day's pay, or worse, the loss of a job.

It's a terrible choice that strikes fear in the hearts of all workers; a fear grounded in workplace reality.

Consequences of Time Off

In a 2006 survey, conducted by the Center on Work Life Law at the University of California's Hastings College of the Law, 1 in 6 workers said they or a family member had been fired, suspended, punished or threatened by an employer for taking time off to care for themselves or a family member when ill.

This is all highly counterproductive.

Healthy workers are key to a healthy national economy.

Paid sick days reduce the business costs of turnover, absenteeism and lack of productivity when workers are sick on the job. In fact, if workers were provided just seven paid sick days annually, according to information released by the National Partnership for Women and Families in 2008, our national economy would enjoy an annual net savings of more than $8 billion.

Healthy workers also contribute to a healthy public. As public health experts and our own government have repeatedly warned as we contend with H1N1 swine flu, sick workers can protect public health by staying home. But they shouldn't have to pay the awful price of job loss and family financial instability to do so.

For all these reasons we need to pass the Healthy Families Act.

It would allow workers to earn up to seven paid sick days a year to recover from their own illness, to care for a sick family member, or for diagnostic and preventative care. Equally important, it would allow workers time to recover from domestic violence or sexual assault. Just as no worker should have to choose between pay and health, no worker should have to choose between pay and safety.
Need for Federal Policy

In the last three years, paid sick days legislation has passed in three cities: San Francisco, the District of Columbia and Milwaukee, where implementation is being held up by legal challenges.

This year, there are 15 active paid sick-days state campaigns. But what America needs most in these tough economic times is federal policy like the Healthy Families Act.

A broad coalition of women's, civil rights, health, children's, faith-based and labor organizations supports the act. It has more than 100 co-sponsors in the U.S. House, strong leadership from Ted Kennedy in the Senate and the steadfast support of the White House.

In accepting his party's nomination last August, President Obama said, "We measure the strength of our economy by whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off and look after a sick kid without losing her job." Later he reiterated, "Now is the time to help families with paid sick days, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their job and caring for a sick child or an ailing parent."

Congress must pass the Healthy Families Act. The President must sign it.

We must ensure that all families have the tools to be as healthy and as economically self-sufficient as possible as we move toward recovery in the days ahead.

Linda Meric, a nationally-known speaker on family-friendly workplace policy, is executive director of 9to5, National Association of Working Women. A diverse, grassroots, membership-based nonprofit that helps strengthen women's ability to win economic justice, 9to5 has staffed offices in Milwaukee, Denver, Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Jose.

Originally posted online HERE.

See how you can TAKE ACTION for the Healthy Families Act HERE! Just scroll down to the bottom of the page for a sample letter and contact information for your US Senators and Representatives!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Looking for bloggers!

Do you have something to say?

Are you a 9to5 member who went to the ALC with us in Washington DC? Did you receive good advice when you called the Job Survival Helpline? Have you attended any of the events for the Job Family Collaborative or the Minimum Wage Coalition? Have you interacted with your legislators recently? Did you just randomly stumble upon 9to5 on the internet and you want to tell us your story?

If you have something to say, let your voice be heard!

If you're located in metro Atlanta and are interested in writing a short blog entry for us, please leave a comment on this blog post or send an email to I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

looking for childcare?

Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning Introduces Statewide Child Care Referral Service

link to this press release:

ATLANTA, June 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

Beginning today, Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is introducing a new service to help families locate accessible, affordable, quality child care. By calling toll-free - 1-877-ALL GA KIDS - families can learn about licensed child care in one of Georgia's approximately 3,000 child care learning centers, 250 group day care homes, and 5,300 family day care homes all across the state.

Callers to 1-877-ALL GA KIDS will speak to trained staff from Quality Care for Children, an independent, not-for-profit organization with whom Bright from the Start has contracted to consolidate information about child care providers in all 159 counties and to oversee the new referral service. Quality Care for Children representatives will help families connect with child care providers in their area who are licensed, convenient to work or home, and within the family budget. They will also provide information and advice on how to select a qualified child care provider. A searchable database will also be available at

"Our goal is to equip parents with as much information as possible in order for them to make the best decisions for their families," said Dr. Holly Robinson, commissioner of Bright from the Start. "1-877-ALL GA KIDS is Georgia's source for parents to locate quality child care whether they are north in Fannin County or at the southern tip of the state in Lowndes County."

An estimated 64% of families in Georgia use child care, and demand is growing as more family members work outside the home. Quality Care for Children CEO Pam Tatum said as tough economic conditions put an additional strain on the child care services families use, more parents are turning to unlicensed providers who might cost less but aren't always safe or properly trained.

"In the 30 years Quality Care for Children has been operating, this may prove to be the most challenging time yet for the families we serve," Tatum said. "Many are overwhelmed by what's happened with the economy, and they're struggling to make difficult financial choices, so this referral program could not have come at a better time."

About Bright from the Start

Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is responsible for meeting the child care and early education needs of Georgia's children and their families. It administers the nationally recognized Georgia's Pre-K Program, licenses child care centers and home-based child care, administers federal nutrition programs, and manages voluntary quality enhancement programs.

The department also houses the Head Start State Collaboration Office, distributes federal funding to enhance the quality and availability of child care, and works collaboratively with Georgia child care resource and referral agencies and organizations throughout the state to enhance early care and education. For more information, go to

About Quality Care for Children

Quality Care for Children is Georgia's leader in equipping parents and child care providers with the tools they need to receive and provide high quality, affordable child care so that all children have access to superior early learning experiences and are ready for school. For more information, go to

Note: Quality Care for Children partners with 9to5 on the Georgia Minimum Wage Coalition! Check out their website above.