Voters Back Workplace Flexibility, Job Quality

   WASHINGTON - (BUSINESS WIRE) - 10/31/10 -- New data collected for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research by Precision Opinion finds widespread support across party lines, gender, race and ethnicity for policies that will assist working families and protect workers’ rights, especially for low income workers. The majority of registered voters favor political candidates who will promote policies that increase workplace protections from unfair treatment, and provide paid leave and flexibility to meet family care giving demands—and women consistently show greater support than men.
   “To excite voters, and especially women voters, political parties can address the pressing need for policies to improve work-life flexibility and balance, as well as to provide basic protections, such as paid sick days, to help workers care for their families,” IWPR Executive Director Barbara Gault said.
   For example, likely voters overwhelmingly support paid leave for family care and child birth, quality and affordable child care, paid sick days, a right to request a flexible schedule, a right to refuse overtime, and a higher minimum wage. Across the board, women support such work-life policies more than men, as do parents with children under the age of 18 value such work-life policies more than those without children under the age of 18.
   Three out of four (76 percent) endorse laws to provide paid leave for family care and childbirth—81 percent of women and 71 percent of men. Racial/ethnic minority voters support these policies (92 percent of African Americans and 86 percent of Hispanics) more than White voters (72 percent). Democrats promote these policies (88 percent) more than either Republicans (68 percent) or Independents (70 percent).
    Similar patterns are seen in support for laws to improve the quality and affordability of child care and after-school care. Three-quarters of voters agree with these policies— 79 percent of women and 75 percent of men. African Americans (88 percent) and Hispanics (84 percent) are more likely than Whites (73 percent) to factor child care arrangements into their electoral choices. Eighty-nine percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Republicans, and 71 percent of Independent voters see a role for government in promoting high quality, affordable child care.
    Paid sick days legislation, which would require businesses to provide leave when workers or their children are ill, has been introduced each year since 2005 in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. More than two-thirds of registered voters (69 percent) endorse laws to provide paid sick days; 74 percent of women and 63 percent of men. A majority of both Republicans (57 percent) and Independents (59 percent) favor such laws, but even more Democrats (84 percent) support paid sick days laws.
Eighty-two percent of registered voters support legislators who will work for stronger laws to challenge discrimination and unfair treatment on the job—with support at 90 percent among respondents aged 18-39.    
   More women favor such policies (86 percent) than men (77 percent).
    For more information, please see the full press release with graph on IWPR’s website.
   Results shown are for registered voters drawn from a nationally representative sample of 2,080 adults surveyed by Precision Opinion using telephone interviews and random digital dialing in September and October 2010. The results shown are preliminary with a margin of sampling error for the survey of ±2.2 percentage points. Funding for this Institute for Women’s Policy Research survey was provided by the Rockefeller Foundation.
   News Release Source: BUSINESS WIRE