Message #4: A universal paid sick time standard reflects the changing reality of our modern economy and workforce


We no longer live in a society made up of nuclear families with a single breadwinner.  The vast majority of children in Vermont live in households in which all the adults are working.  It is rare that one income is enough to support a family.  And it is common for children to grow up in single parent households.  Workers need to be able to manage the demands of their families and their careers and a paid sick time standard is a critical piece of this.  While women are increasingly sharing financial responsibility with their partners, they continue to disproportionately bear the responsibilities associated with children and family.  This legislation is a part of ensuring that women have the ability to be good employees and good mothers and progress in the workplace alongside their male counterparts.

  • More than half of working mothers in the United States do not have even a few paid sick days they can use to care for their sick children.

  • 42% of women have had the experience of being unable to take time off to care for a child; 27% to care for a parent.

  • Single mothers generally experience lower wages and higher rates of poverty than other workers, so without a second income to rely on, single parents are less able to forego a day’s pay if they are sick.  They are also less able to rely on another parent to stay home and care for a sick child, forcing an impossible choice between work and family in times of illness.

  • Women comprise about half of the workforce in the United States.

  • In 2010, among families with children, nearly half (44.8 percent) were headed by two working parents and another one in four (26.1 percent) were headed by a single parent. As a result, fewer than one in three (28.7 percent) children now have a stay-at-home parent, compared to more than half (52.6%) in 1975, only a generation ago.

  • Nearly 70% of wives in the bottom 20% of income distribution for all families in the US earn as much as or more than their male counterpart.  And this is true for about half of women in middle class families as well.

Important Facts
School meals

In the 2013-2014 school year, 40.7% of students received meals categorized as free or reduced-price. Click on the graph for additional [more]

Poverty undermines [more]

Early Prenatal Care

Between 2000 and 2010, the rate of pregnant women in Vermont receiving early prenatal care ranged between 80 and 85 percent. This was short [more]


While the total population of Vermont has grown to an estimated 626,630, our child population has fallen since the 2000 Census count [more]

70% of Vermont’s housing stock was built prior to the 1978 ban on lead paint.  Lead paint and dust from lead [more]

Teen Births

Teen mothers often have fewer resources than older parents to provide for a healthy baby and for themselves.  Babies born [more]

7.5% of Vermont’s children received Reach Up (TANF) benefits in 2011; a 27% increase from 2007. [more]

98% of Vermont’s children have health insurance. [more]

Babies with low birthweight – under 5.5 pounds – are at risk for respiratory conditions, cognitive and developmental delays, and other long-term health [more]