Initiative 1433 will help lift up Washington workers and families, because no one who works hard should still struggle to get by.

 

Raising the minimum wage and allowing workers to earn paid sick leave is the right thing to do.

Working Washingtonians and middle-class families are falling behind. In the past four years alone, the wealthiest one percent has seen their pay skyrocket 31 percent; corporate profits are higher than ever, but wages for workers have remained flat.

Too many Washingtonians are working harder than ever but still struggling to make ends meet. They are single moms working double shifts who can’t afford to stay home when their kids get sick, fathers with families to support, people from every demographic — young and old alike — working 40 hours a week but barely getting by.

And no one should have to choose between staying home to take care of themselves or a sick child or losing a paycheck. When we ensure that working parents across Washington aren’t forced to choose between a paycheck and a sick child, we can prevent the spread of disease and make our communities safer, healthier and stronger.

 

A higher minimum wage and paid sick leave particularly helps Washington’s working women and mothers

In Washington, 6 in 10 minimum wage workers are women.1 Initiative 1433 will put $600 more a month in the pockets of almost half a million Washington women. This helps lift up women and their families, since women are now the primary breadwinners in more than 40 percent of households with children.2

Today, women make up a majority of workers in many low-wage industries industries across Washington’s economy, including health care, restaurants and professional childcare. These women are also the least likely to have paid sick and safe leave, despite the fact that mothers are 10 times more likely to stay home with a sick child than their male partners.3 An increased minimum wage will ensure these women do not struggle to get by. Allowing them to earn paid sick and safe leave will also make sure they do not have to choose between caring for their sick child or losing a paycheck.
 

 
1 “Women, Minimum Wage and the Wage Gap.” National Women’s Law Center. August 2015.
2 “Breadwinning Mothers, Then and Now.” Center for American Progress. June 2014.
3 “Balancing on Shaky Ground: Women, Work, and Family Health.” Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. October 2014.