On March 4, state legislators in Colorado introduced a bill that would create a paid leave insurance pool called the Family and Medical Leave Insurance program. The proposal, modeled off a similar program in California, would deduct a premium from the paycheck of every worker in Colorado and allow employees to have a portion of those lost wages repaid while they take unpaid leave to care for themselves or a sick loved one. The bill would also allow every worker in the state to take up to three months of family leave a year and still have a job to come back to afterward. With a population of nearly 200,000 AAPIs, 88% of Colorado workers don’t have access to paid extended leave that would allow them to care for ailing family members or allow them to take time off after giving birth.
Meanwhile, in Tennessee, a bill has been introduced into the General Assembly to study the feasibility of developing and implementing an employee contribution-driven paid family and medical leave program in the state.]]>
After her student visa expired in 2009, Nan-Hui fled the U.S. to Korea with her daughter, Hwi, to escape her abusive partner, Jesse Charlton. Charlton is an unstable Iraq war veteran diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder and has been determined by the Veterans Affairs Department to be 70% disabled. While she was out of the country, Charlton filed child abduction charges against her. As a result, when Nan-Hui finally returned to the U.S. last year to look at schools for Hwi, a U.S. citizen, she was immediately arrested and sent to jail. Despite the fact that Charlton has himself admitted to brutal abuse of Nan-Hui, during trial prosecutors nonetheless attempted to paint Nan-Hui as deserving of her abuse, asking questions such as “Isn’t it true that you were the aggressor in your fights?” and “You put your interests before the interest of your baby and her father, didn’t you?”
Sentencing for Nan-Hui was scheduled for April 1. However, although Nan-Hui has a U-visa application pending for immigrant victims of crime who cooperate with law enforcement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement continues to seek her transfer into immigration custody for deportation.
According to the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence, approximately 41-60% of AAPI women report experiencing domestic violence during their lifetime. Join NAPAWF in standing with Nan-Hui by signing this petition and visiting this website to find out how you can take action.]]>
Feticide laws were passed to protect pregnant women from violence, but using these statues to punish women sends the message that women who do not have healthy pregnancies or experience the sorrow of losing their pregnancy may be investigated for criminal acts In 2011, Bei Bei Shuai, the first person charged under Indiana’s feticide law, was sent to jail for losing her pregnancy after attempting to commit suicide. The conviction of Purvi Patel means that the second woman ever to be charged and the first woman to be convicted under this law is another AAPI woman. Enforcement of the law in this way has a disproportionate impact on women of color and immigrants, who often cannot access medical care, counseling, and other resources due to linguistic and cultural barriers or socioeconomic status. For these women, the additional fear of arrest may altogether prevent them from seeking critical and necessary physical or mental health care during their pregnancy.
An appeal of Purvi’s conviction is underway. As the sole breadwinner for her family, this ordeal has been financially devastating for her parents and grandparents. To help support them while Purvi fights her case, please donate here.]]>
In 2015 alone, sex-selective abortion bans have been introduced in 9 states, most recently in Louisiana. Another such ban is also pending in the U.S. Senate and was proposed at the start of the year by none other than Sen. David Vitter (R-LA).]]>
The Healthy Families Act was reintroduced on February 12 by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). The law would allow workers in businesses with at least 15 employees to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave a year. Currently, 43 million private-sector workers nationwide do not have access to paid sick days.
On March 3, Re. Rosa DeLaura and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand introduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which would require employers to create insurance pools from employee contributions that would allow workers to take up to 12 weeks of paid family or medical leave.
According to exit polling by Asian American Decisions, 74% of AAPIs support raising the minimum wage. The share of AAPI women at or below minimum wage more than doubled from 2007 to 2012. Moreover, in 2011, 12.3% of AAPI women—more than 1 million—lived in poverty, compared to 7.7% of white men.]]>