05-24-2018  2:49 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon says an "unlikely" string of events prompted its Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle.The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an employee of her husband...

Attorney general issues ballot title for assault weapons ban

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's attorney general has released a certified ballot title for an initiative that would restrict the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in the state.The title released Wednesday revises the draft caption following comments from the public and the...

Power outages temporarily halt flights at Sea-Tac Airport

SEATTLE (AP) — Officials say scattered power outages halted some flights on the south side of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.KOMO-TV reports airport spokesman Perry Cooper said after 12:30 p.m. Thursday that flights were slowly resuming.Airport officials said on Twitter that all power...

Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon says an "unlikely" string of events prompted its Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle.The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an employee of her husband...


Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...


NFL's policy could mean a new playbook on protests this fall

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Now that the NFL is drawing the line against players kneeling during the national anthem, athletes protesting police brutality and racial inequality may need to find a new playbook.The question is whether they intend to escalate their protests in some way."The owners can...

Court: School can let trans students use bathroom of choice

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Pennsylvania school district can allow transgender students to continue using bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their sexual identity, a federal appeals court panel ruled Thursday.A three-judge panel heard extended arguments in the case before conferring...

Body camera video is latest setback for Milwaukee police

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Body camera video showing police using a stun gun on an NBA player over a parking violation is just the latest setback for efforts to improve the strained relationship between Milwaukee officers and the city's black population.The confrontation involving Milwaukee Bucks...


Scenes cut from 'Show Dogs' over resemblance to sexual abuse

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two scenes are being cut from the family movie "Show Dogs" after complaints that they resemble real-life sexual abuse, the movie's distributor has announced.In the movie, a police dog goes undercover at a dog show to catch animal smugglers.In one scene, the dog is told to...

Stoner comedy pioneer Tommy Chong still toking, joking at 80

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yeah man, Tommy Chong says he always knew he'd live to see the day marijuana legalization would be sweeping America.He knew when he and partner Cheech Marin pioneered stoner comedy 50 years ago, a time when taunting the establishment with constant reminders that they...

Paltrow: Brad Pitt threatened Harvey Weinstein

NEW YORK (AP) — Gwyneth Paltrow says ex-boyfriend Brad Pitt threatened producer Harvey Weinstein after an alleged incident of sexual misconduct.The 45-year-old actress told "The Howard Stern Show" on Wednesday she was "blindsided." Paltrow claimed she was 22 when Weinstein placed his hands...


MLB panel says baseballs getting extra lift, cause unknown

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseballs really have been getting extra lift since 2015, and it's not from the exaggerated...

Body camera video is latest setback for Milwaukee police

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Body camera video showing police using a stun gun on an NBA player over a parking...

Bus driver charged in crash that killed student, teacher

A school bus driver with a history of driver's license suspensions caused a fatal crash on a New Jersey highway...

Israel defense chief plans 2,500 new West Bank settler homes

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister said Thursday he will seek approval next week to fast-track...

Cyclone Mekunu pounds Yemen island on its path to Oman

SALALAH, Oman (AP) — Cyclone Mekunu roared over the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea on its way...

Saudi Arabia releases 3 women as other activists still held

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi authorities have released three prominent women's rights...

Viji Sundaram New America Media

SAN FRANCISCO--Janet Zamudio, a working mother of modest means, says the paid family leave she took soon after her third child, Maya, was born helped her feel "valued as a mother, as well as valued by the state" of California.

"Maya and I would have been in an absolute mess, if I hadn't had the extra time to bond with her and spend quality time with her," said Zamudio, who now works as an advocate with Bananas, Inc., an Oakland-based childcare resource service. Equally importantly, she was able to train her child, now 7, to take a bottle, before she could go to daycare.

Exactly 10 years ago, California became the first state in the nation to pass a Paid Family Leave (PFL) law that allows workers to temporarily leave their jobs to bond with a new child – biological, adopted or foster -- or care for a seriously ill parent, spouse or domestic partner.

"Not having such a law could send people into poverty," asserted Maria Elena Duarazo, executive secretary and treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. Organized labor led the way in getting the PFL law passed.

A "Huge Breakthrough" In U.S.

"It was a huge breakthrough," observed Ruth Milkman, professor of sociology at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center and academic director of the university's Murphy Labor Institute. Milkman was an expert panelist at a July 12 audio news briefing to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the law.

Since the landmark legislation passed in 2002, more than a million people have used the program. Despite that success, though, New Jersey is the only other state that currently has a similar law.

PFL, a part of the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program, provides up to six weeks of partial wage replacement for workers using the program. Workers can draw up to 55 percent of their salary while on paid family leave.

"Fifty-five percent is nothing by international standards," acknowledged Milkman, who pointed out that aside from Papua New Guinea and Swaziland, every country in the world offers their workers PFL.

When the California law first passed, critics called it a "job killer," saying it would hurt businesses. "The truth is, it has been a non-event for business," Milkman observed at the time.

A series of surveys done over the years showed that although most Californians felt the program was a "good idea," few knew about it, she said.

The most recent survey of California's registered voters done as part of a Field Poll last year indicated that only 43 percent of them knew about FPL. And immigrants, the majority of them Latinos, as well as young people, were less likely to know about it, said Nicole Marquez, a lawyer at Equal Rights Advocate.

Respondents to the Field poll who had limited education were also less aware of PFL than those with higher educational attainment. And survey participants with annual household incomes under $30,000 were only about half as likely to be aware of PFL as those with annual household incomes over $80,000.

More Outreach Needed

Advocates agree that more outreach needs to be done for better utilization of the law.

Professionals, managers and others whose employers already provide them with paid time off can draw on PFL, as well. But for these groups, access to wage replacement historically has been as good or better than what the state program now offers.

By contrast, low-wage workers with limited or no benefits stand to gain much more from the state program. In this sense, teleconference panelists agreed that PFL is a potential social leveler that could narrow or perhaps even close the gap in access to paid leave between the "haves" and "have-nots."

Marquez noted that although federal and state laws guarantee job protections to workers, they don't guarantee them pay while on leave. She pointed out, that a worker who pays into SDI is eligible for PFL "regardless of his or her immigration status," including those who are undocumented.

Over the years, the number of men utilizing the program has been steadily increasing, Milkman said.

She noted that the PFL program allows a worker to even travel overseas to care for a seriously ill family member, provided the worker is able to get a letter from a doctor in that country outlining the medical condition of the patient.

There is currently a move afoot to expand California workers' rights to take unpaid leave to care for seriously ill family members, such as siblings, grandparents, grandchildren or parents-in-law.

Introduced by Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, D-Alameda, the bill passed the Assembly in May and is now before the Senate Appropriations Committee. A similar bill proposed by him in 2007, along with Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, passed in both chambers but was vetoed by then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger.

Zamudio, who is of Mexican descent, said she able to bond more quickly with her third baby, who was born after the state enacted the PFL law, than with her two earlier children. Juggling work and motherhood gave her very little quality time with the two older children, she said, wishing she'd had the same "rewarding experience" with them in infancy as she had with her younger baby.

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