Nov 24, 2009

New Study Finds U.S. Far Behind on Workers’ Rights

A study released last week by a research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Founding Director of McGill University’s Institute for Health and Social Policy finds that the U.S. lags nearly behind all other countries in terms of workers’ rights.

Based on a worldwide examination of workers’ rights in 190 countries and working conditions faced by 55,000 households, Raising the Global Floor also finds:

  • The U.S. does not guarantee paid sick leave or annual leave, paid parental leave, paid time off to care for sick children or even one day of rest per week;
  • While 177 nations guarantee paid leave for new mothers and another 163 nations mandate paid sick leave, the U.S. requires neither;
  • The U.S. also falls behind 164 countries that guarantee paid annual vacation, 157 countries that guarantee workers one day of rest each week, 74 countries that offer paid leave to new fathers and 48 countries that allow paid time off to care for sick children;
  • The only federal policy that the U.S. guarantees is a wage premium for mandatory overtime which translates into more pay, but for more work; and
  • Finally, the study disputes the idea that providing family-friendly workplace policies will cost jobs or hurt a nation's competitiveness. Indeed, it found just the opposite is true.

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