Betty Reid Mandell is co-editor of New Politics, and co-author of Introduction to Human Services: Policy and Practice, 7th ed.
Randy Albelda is a professor of economics and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Social Policy at University of Massachusetts Boston. Her research and teaching covers a broad range of economic policies affecting low-income women and families, and includes the recent report Bridging the Gaps: A Picture of How Work Supports Work in Ten States.
How many people can afford to take time off from work without being paid? Not many. When a worker gets sick or a child or parent gets sick; when a woman is giving birth or when a parent needs to go to a conference with a teacher, leaving work can not only cost a day's pay, but it can cost advancement in a career. Women, who do most of caregiving, are particularly disadvantaged.