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PNS Daily Newscast - November 25, 2020 


Feeding the hungry on Thanksgiving and beyond; and is that Turkey really from a family farm? (Note to Broadcasters: the newscast has been granted a holiday for Thanksgiving, but we shall return first thing Friday.)


2020Talks - November 24, 2020 


Formal transition to Biden presidency begins; key Biden Cabinet nominations to be announced today. *2020Talks will not be released 11/26 & 11/27*

COVID-19 Sparks New Interest in Paid Leave Among Employers

The Rapid Assessment of Pandemic Impact on Development Early Childhood Survey Project finds 68% of people caring for children under age 5 report a significant increase in stress from COVID-19.(Adobe Stock)
The Rapid Assessment of Pandemic Impact on Development Early Childhood Survey Project finds 68% of people caring for children under age 5 report a significant increase in stress from COVID-19.(Adobe Stock)
August 24, 2020

Correction: Correct spelling is Sadrah Schadel, not Sarah Schadel. 9/24/2020 11:05 a.m., MST

RALEIGH, N.C. -- One North Carolina-based nonprofit has created a program to help small businesses incorporate family-friendly workplace practices in their reopening plans.

In the era of COVID-19, employers are grappling with maintaining productivity while they figure out how to support workers struggling to find child care or facing illness in families. The "Family Forward NC Rapid Response team" can connect employers to Human Resources experts who can guide them through policies that could work for their business - at no cost.

Lisa Finaldi, community engagement leader with the NC Early Childhood Foundation, said as the coronavirus continues to upend work, school and life, employers have major questions to consider.

"What are the benefits that will matter for a business who is trying to reopen strategically, is concerned about their employees' ability to return to work, and return to work more fully?" Finaldi said.

Prior to the COVID crisis, fewer than half of workers in the hospitality and food-service industries had any paid sick leave, and 60% of the country's food-service and retail workers reported going to work sick at times, because they lacked access to paid sick leave.

Finaldi added the pandemic has, perhaps for the first time, prompted many employers to consider offering real incentives for people to stay home when they're sick. She said Raleigh restaurant "SoCa" is an example of a company that recently increased wages and launched a 14-day paid sick-leave policy for employees.

"And they have decided to pay a livable wage, which is $15 a hour. And in order to do that, they are putting a 10% premium on the price of food - and they're telling customers why they're doing that," she said.

No Evil Foods is an Asheville-area company that makes plant-based meat alternatives. CEO Sadrah Schadel said the company has implemented a new parental leave policy for its more than 100 employees - and she's already seen the value of extending parental leave to new fathers.

"Small businesses have an opportunity to create the world that they want to see. And parental leave policies that are gender-inclusive promote gender equity at home and at work," Schadel said. "And I think that's a responsibility that we should all share."

Paid parental leave policies have been linked to reduced infant hospitalizations and a host of long-term health benefits for children.

Disclosure: North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Education, Livable Wages/Working Families, Women's Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Nadia Ramlagan, Public News Service - NC