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Showing posts from August, 2015

Still Time to Comment on Proposed Overtime Rules

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In June 2015, the Department of Labor announced a proposed overtime rule which would extend overtime protections to over 13 million salaried workers, nearly 7 million of whom are women.

Overtime pay falls under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which was passed in 1938 to establish a standard work week and a rate of pay for employees who worked more hours than the standard. Administrative, executive, and professional employees were exempt from the overtime regulations.

In the almost 80 years since the law was passed, that exemption has created confusion and given some employers room to classify employees as exempt in order to avoid paying overtime. The Department of Labor proposition would simplify the rules by increasing the salary that workers must earn to be considered exempt and clarifying the rules for determining whether or not an employee can receive overtime.

You can read more about the proposal at http://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/NPRM2015/faq.htm. If you want to let the Departmen…

Who really uses SNAP?

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Many people believe that the only people who use SNAP, commonly known as food stamps, are the extremely impoverished. These people are thought to have no other form of income and are totally desperate. However, you may be surprised at how many people use food stamps.

63% of kids in St. Louis are on SNAP, along with 36% of adults in that city. 3 in 10 people who live in the Bronx need federal assistance in filling (or attempting to fill) their pantries. People who are in school and trying to receive a higher education are on SNAP. As many millennials graduate and enter the workforce, they find that they still need to apply for SNAP.

Isn’t it the goal of everyone to be independent? To not have to rely on anyone and to forge their own path? With the current cycle of poverty, it seems as though the rich get richer while the poor stay poor, trying to keep up with increasing cost of living.

So, what is the solution? It is thought by many that once you have a diploma in your hand and a starti…

Many Faces of Hunger

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Hunger is a phenomenon that knows no race, gender, or age. Anyone can be affected by it, but the numbers show that certain groups feel the pain more than others.

Veterans serve the country in a way that cannot be appreciated enough. They risk their lives in order to keep us safe. So, whys is it that 24% of veterans enrolled in VACS were identified as “food insecure?” The majority of veterans involved in VACS have issues with homelessness, income, drug abuse, hypertension, diabetes, depression, and HIV.

Migrant and seasonal workers disproportionately feel the attack of hunger. Because they are relatively young, the average worker is 33 years of age, they are predisposed to hunger. In addition, many workers are able to start at twelve, so their education is cut short at middle school. These are all factors that contribute to the food deficiency among seasonal workers.

In the Southwest one group of migrant workers reported that 82% of workers were food insecure. The geographic restrictio…

FAMILY Act

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The FAMILY Act was introduced to Congress in March of this year. Under this bill, workers would have access to paid sick time. This recompense can help families in a great deal of ways.

The way one would apply for “caregiving days” would be through the Office of Paid Family and Medical Leave, which is established in the Act. This Office would then deem eligibility for benefits. In order to be eligible, one must meet multiple requirements.

One must be insured under Social Security and held a job in the past 12 months before applying. The “caregiving” must have occurred from 90 days before to 30 days following the application. Monthly recompense can range from $580 to $4,000, depending on one’s income. The amount of benefits is a percentage of one’s wages, therefore a part-time or lower tier employee can still receive assistance, however their assistance may be of a lower monetary value than a full-time employee.

The bill covers gaps that FMLA creates. Many who qualify for time under FM…

Flu Season: The Case for Paid Sick Days

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Two in three kids will get sick every year and require at least one day off from school. However, 52% of parents do not have access to paid sick time to care for their children. So what does that mean?

That means that children go to school sick. This releases a slew of health issues. Other children, educators, and administrators are now in contact with highly infectious diseases. In addition, the child will probably not recover within the regular time frame. Studies show that healthy children are more focused and have fewer behavioral problems.

There are many terrible accounts from educators about children coming to school sick. “I work at an elementary school. I have seen many children come to school so sick they could hardly stand, some even with fevers. When we would offer to send them to the office, the children would often cry and beg not to be sent home because they had already been told by their mom or dad that they could not miss work because they could not afford it. Kids shou…

CFF Camp

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As the summer draws to a close, PathWays PA is trying to get a few more days of summer fun for their children at the Center for Women and Families. CFF Camp runs from August 24 to September 4.

There are a few things necessary for these last days before school starts. Jump ropes, chalk, table top tennis, and other engaging objects are needed. In addition, face-paint, bubbles, and water balloons would help the children make the most out of the camp. Candy and arts and crafts supplies would be appreciated as well.

The schedule for the kids is jam-packed. From arts and crafts, to talents shows, to picnics and games, these last few weeks of summer can be unforgettable for these children. We can't do it without your help!

Visit http://bit.ly/PWGiving to donate, or deliver to 310 Amosland Road, Holmes, PA 19043.

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Homeless in Philly by the Numbers

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How much do you know about the homeless of Philadelphia? You are probably aware of the fact that there are people living on the streets of the city, but the statistics may shock you.

Shelters all around Philly are filled to capacity. However, 48% of families are turned away just because there is no room for them. That means if we double the number of shelters in Philadelphia, then we may just barely be able to accommodate those seeking help.

These numbers only include those who are seeking shelter. Many young people refuse to go into emergency housing because of the conditions.

The need for Coordinated Assessment is increasing. This is where a person’s or families’ specific needs are evaluated and measured in order to decide what type of program they should enter. For the most part, the choices are transitional housing or emergency housing. Transitional housing offers services that can teach occupants a trade or some type of skill. In addition, participants would learn about bills they…

Paid Sick Days: Who deserves them and why

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Women make up half of America’s workforce. Two-thirds of America’s caregivers are female. Does the math not add up? Wait until you see the numbers on their access to sick time.

43% of female workers in the private sector do not have any paid sick time. 54% of working women have no paid time to care for themselves or their children. 82% of women earning under $8.25 an hour do not have one minute of sick time. When mothers try to care for their children, 42% find that they are unable to because they must work. Only 27% of daughters could take care of their parents. One in five women say that either they or someone they know has been fired or disciplined for taking time off to either recover from an illness or injury or to care for a family member.

The hardest hit are women of color. More often than not, colored families have a woman as their main breadwinner. Many low-income families are of color, and 3.5 days of missed pay could mean a month without groceries. Job loss is devastating t…

Mothers and their Newborns:Those who Need Sick Days

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Nearly one in four American working mothers need to return to work within two weeks of giving birth. With that starting statistic in mind, let us take a look at what this means for most mothers. 

Women who are forced to return to work before they are ready face a great deal of challenges. Many face depression and other mental issues. Physical challenges exist for these women as well. In one case, a mother was forced to pump breast milk in her car during her lunch break because her factory job did not have a lactation room.

New children also feel the pain from lack of maternity leave. Without being around their mothers, many children do not develop socially and emotionally as well as an infant who created a stronger bond with his/her mother.

So what is the solution? Paid family leave time. Currently, only 13 percent of working people in America have access to paid leave.

The benefits to paid family leave are astounding. A 20% drop in infant mortality rate and an increase in productivit…

STAMP Pass

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Philadelphia is home to many culturally rich museums that can help broaden the minds of Philly teens. Instead of going to see a movie or heading to the mall, what if teens went to a fun place that is also educational? What if they could visit those places free of charge?

With the STAMP (Students at Museums in Philly) Pass, they can! The only criteria for the pass is that users are between the ages of 14 and 19 and live in the Philadelphia area. The pass is applicable at 12 locations, including the Franklin Institute, Eastern State Penitentiary, and the Philadelphia Zoo!

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Swiss Farms Gift-A-Meal Program to Help PathWays PA

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Starting on August 10, 2015, visit any of Swiss Farms Store locations to receive a Gift-A-Meal punch card. For every 10 freshly prepared entrees or side items you purchase, Swiss Farms will donate a meal to PathWays PA in your name.

The donated meals will be selected, prepared and delivered by Swiss Farms, monthly.

You can see the Swiss Farms menu at http://swissfarms.com/fresh-tasty/.