The Definition of Family

I’ve been thinking a lot about the definition of family. With Moms’ Equal Pay Day yesterday, Mother’s Day this weekend, and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act making waves in Congress, there are so many ways we can advocate for parents and caretakers right now — not just cis mothers, but also trans and nonbinary parents, domestic workers, chosen family caretakers, and child care workers.

President Biden’s American Families Plan was presented to Congress last week, setting forth an unprecedented agenda that would radically transform life for most families with a national paid medical and family leave program; universal preschool for 3 and 4 year olds; free school meals year round to those in need; and a $15 minimum wage for early childcare workers. Read more about the American Families Plan in our brand new 100 Days Progress Report, which will give you an overview on how the Biden-Harris Administration is doing keeping its promises to essential workers, families of color, caretakers, students, and low-paid workers. (View our other federal priorities here.)

We’re pushing for additional transformative change for California families with our 2021 Stronger California agenda, with bills ensuring workers can no longer be discriminated against for attending to their family caregiving responsibilities; and granting all workers time off to care for ill loved ones, including chosen family members and those in multi-generational households. Take quick, easy action to support these changes.

I am so proud that Equal Rights Advocates and our partners are driving the law to catch up with expanded definitions of “family” in all of our lives, and thankful that your support makes this innovative reform possible.

Noreen Farrell is the Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates, a civil rights organization that fights for gender justice in workplaces and schools.



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Noreen Farrell

Noreen Farrell

Executive Director, Equal Rights Advocates; Chair, Equal Pay Today! Campaign; Chair, Stronger California; Founding Partner, Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative