As "traditional" families continue to descend into obscurity, women are acting as heads of the household more often — and as a result, they're having to choose between staying healthy and paying the bills. Ready to call bullshit?
So is the AFL-CIO (or The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations for long). They note that retail, food service, and (ironically) health care aren't always the first industries lining up to give low-wage workers paid sick days — which means the lady coughing all over the subway has to show up to work to make ends meet, come hell or high whooping cough.
In fact, more than 80% of low-wage workers don’t receive a single paid sick day all year. This contributes to the creation of a sickness loop: contagious kids go to school because mom can’t stay home with them; expensive emergency room trips are made that could’ve been prevented; employees show up to work and spread viruses to their customers and coworkers.
When young women can’t stay home to get their sleep and soup on, they venture out into the world where they touch handrails with contaminated hands, and sneeze on things. This is the sick, sad world Daria warned us about.
That's why the AFL-CIO is doing something about it - fighting for paid sick days on behalf of over 12 million Americans by supporting legislation and national issues that focus on workers and families. But they need help proving that this is an issue people of all genders and incomes care about.
So! If you’ve sent your sick daughter to school because you couldn’t take off, or left your 80-year-old mom to fend for herself while you worked overtime, or been that sneezing, coughing lady on the train, the AFL-CIO wants to hear from you. Sign the petition and spread the word like the communicable disease you won’t be catching when paid sick days become the norm. Your immune system will thank you for it. And so will thousands of working moms.