News and thoughts on paid leave. Plus: the economy, unemployment, employment benefits and early ed

December 8, 2008 | Alex Stone

Hopes of mandating paid family days may lose to recession: In some ways, conditions couldn’t be better for those seeking to make family leave and paid sick days available to more American workers. In some ways, conditions could scarcely be worse. | Read

Supreme Court to Consider Pensions and Pregnancy Leave: The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act has helped to change the nation’s mindset about childbearing and working moms. In the 30th anniversary year of the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the “second generation of pregnancy discrimination” has arrived at the U.S. Supreme Court, say some civil rights and women’s rights lawyers, in a case that could affect thousands of female workers, retired or about to retire, as well as company pension plans.

Obama says economy will worsen: In a ‘Meet the Press’ interview, the president-elect offers few specifics on his recovery plan or taxes. But Obama does stress the importance of spending to revive the economy and create jobs. President-elect Barack Obama predicted today that the country’s economy would continue on its downward path, but he declined in a wide-ranging television interview to say how much his recovery plan would cost or if he intended to raise taxes immediately on wealthy Americans to help pay for it.

Over 3 million jobs would disappear if U.S. auto-makers go bankrupt: If bankruptcy shuttered one or more U.S. auto-makers, the effect would be the loss of up to 3.3 million jobs in the U.S. within the next year, according to a study released today by the Economic Policy Institute.  Michigan alone could lose over 400,000 jobs, and stands to be the hardest hit state both in the number of jobs lost and the share of total state employment (8.9%) lost.  The report lists possible job losses in each state and the District of Columbia.

Obama promises large public-works program: With unemployment on the rise and no end to the recession in sight, Obama began highlighting elements of the recovery program he is trying to fashion with congressional leaders in hopes of being able to enact it soon after being sworn in Jan. 20.

Small Business: Be sure to tell staff why benefits need to be cut: Many small businesses trying to weather the recession are cutting employee benefits along with other expenses, reducing or even eliminating their contributions to health care insurance and retirement plans.

Delivering Financial Benefits in an Emergency: The nation needs to develop and maintain an effective emergency benefits system; delivery of emergency financial benefits is critical. Benefits include pensions, Social Security and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, as well as payments relating to the disaster such as emergency food stamps, unemployment insurance and emergency cash assistance.

More on Early Education in the Transition: We recently took a look at the early education experts staffing the Obama-Biden transition’s agency review team for the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency that administers Head Start, the Child Care and Development Block Grant, and other major federal early childhood investments.

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Posted in Early Learning, Education, Health Care, Retirement Security

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