Time Magazine: The Fight for Working Mothers

SOUTHFIELD, MICHIGAN – Brown lost her job after requesting time away from work to care for her son and niece who had COVID-19. (Brittany Greeson for TIME)

Read about our client’s struggle in Time Magazine this week.  Tamara Brown was denied the right to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic and fired for having child care responsibilities. Despite federal law and leave rights, employers who did not keep up with the law have done wrong to so many Michigan workers: fired when they should receive paid leave; forcing working moms to choose between family safety and a right to keep a job.Nobody should be forced to make that choice.

The FFCRA and other laws provide some workplace protections, but only if the workplace can respect the law, or if brave clients like Ms. Brown are willing to come forward and tell their stories. Thank you Eliana Dockterman for the great reporting on  Ms. Brown’s story and those of the many working mothers like her:

More than 2.3 million women have dropped out of the labor force since February 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A Census Bureau and Federal Reserve analysis found that 1 in 3 women not working in July cited childcare issues as the reason, and Pew found that mothers of children 12 and under were three times more likely than fathers to have lost work between February and August. Latina and Black women have been hit hardest, and women’s labor-force participation reached a 33-year low in January. Economists have dubbed this recession a “she­cession.””

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on working mothers. Families are in crisis, the pay gap is widening, and women are falling even further behind. It’s going to take a long time to make up for what has been lost.