From the New York Times:
By Heather Boushey, a senior economist with the Center for American Progress
We know how to provide opportunities for hard-working Americans to enter and thrive in a prosperous and growing middle class. What happens inside the home, for example, is a critical factor in whether children will be able to someday seize opportunities in our economy to become upwardly mobile. Effective parenting is critically important to giving children a good start on the road to social and economic mobility. At the same time, upward mobility is associated with stable family incomes, which is more common among those with two working parents — increasingly the norm in our society.
Yet the ability of parents to be good workers and effective parents is sharply curtailed by workplaces that haven’t adapted to this reality. Parents, especially those in low- and middle-wage jobs, are too often forced to choose between a day’s pay and perhaps losing their job if they have to take care of a sick child. These Americans have little to no flexibility to create schedules that can help address — or at the very least not exacerbate — work-family conflict.
Enacting paid sick days and giving workers the ability to better bargain for workplace flexibility are two simple steps that we could take to give their children a good start in life, helping them eventually move up the economic ladder. These are just two ways to foster economic opportunity to boost upward mobility.