A bevy of reports released this week measure aspects of states’ “family friendly” policies show North Carolina has a lot of room for improvement to accommodate the new reality that most working adults are also being squeezed (or hugged) by caregiving responsibilities for their elders, their children, or both.
The reports come ahead of the White House Summit on Working Families scheduled for Monday, June 23. Almost 30 women from North Carolina will be attending the summit, including a large delegation from Women AdvaNCe and a few from the North Carolina Families Care coalition.
The summit and reports draw much-needed attention to the fact that most adults with children work now, yet most of us still find work-life balance a constant struggle that often forces folks to choose between getting paid and taking care of an ill loved on.
First, The National Partnership for Women and Families report gave North Carolina a “D” for having few protections for working parents beyond federal laws like the Family Medical Leave Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Those laws have their limitations because they don’t apply to all employers and so leave out millions of workers. They also don’t provide any paid leave, which means many workers, particularly low-income workers—find that they can’t afford to take leave after having a baby, for example.