Origins Of Wisconsin’s Gerrymandering Case, Young Women Not Using Vacation Time, Health Care Vote

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This fall, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Wisconsin’s electoral maps that Democratic voters say were designed to disenfranchise them. Our guest discusses how the state’s Democratic majority in the Senate helped lay the groundwork for the case in 2012. The U.S. Senate votes today to begin debate on their health care bill. We find out what it means for a bill with several Republican opponents. We also look into why many millennial women aren’t taking the vacation time they’ve earned at work.

Featured in this Show

  • The 2012 Senate Democrats in Wisconsin Helped Gather Evidence In Gerrymandering Case Before The Supreme Court

    Democratic control of the Wisconsin Senate after the recalls of 2012 may have been short-lived, but our guest says that time was key for the gathering of evidence in the gerrymandering case before the US Supreme Court.

  • Millennial Women Don't Take Paid Time Off As Much As Their Peers

    As companies change how they offer paid time off to employees, two new surveys show that millennial women take less time off than their peers do. We’ll look at why that may be, and what would have to change to reverse that trend.

  • Survey: Millennial Women Not Using Vacation Time

    A company offering unlimited vacation time might seem like a dream.

    But a survey from Project: Time Off, an initiative of the U.S. Travel Association, shows American workers, particularly millennial women, aren’t necessarily benefiting from such policies, which have become trendy in recent years, said Jena McGregor, a contributing writer to the Washington Post’s “On Leadership” blog.

    The survey found millennial women are less likely to use all their vacation time than their male colleagues, with 44 percent of female respondents saying they used all their time off versus 48 percent of male respondents. At the same time, millennial women were more likely than men to say vacation time is “extremely” important to them, 58 percent versus 49 percent.

    Reasons women listed for not taking all their vacation time included feeling guilty for taking the time, worrying about the mountain of work that would accumulate if they took too much time off, that they want to show complete dedication to their work and that they don’t want to appear replaceable, according to the survey.

    “I think young women are aware of the pay gap that continues to exist, of the more perilous road to the top that they sometimes face and the discrimination that continues to exist, certainly in certain industries, and they feel they just have to work that much harder to show that they’re committed,” McGregor said.

    The online survey conducted from Jan. 26 to Feb. 20 included responses from 7,331 American workers ages 18 and up who work more than 35 hours a week and have paid time off from their employer.

    Millennial women also say they experience more stress at work and at home than their male counterparts, according to the survey. And millennials in general are more stressed out than older generations, according to another survey from the American Psychological Association.

    Millennial women’s reluctance to leave their desks is in line with a larger trend at work.

    “Millennial workers are most likely to kind of see themselves as ‘work martyrs.’ And that is for several reasons,” McGregor said. “This is a group of employees that came into the workforce with huge amounts of student loans, with a really weak job market, many of them. At the same time, they are younger. They don’t have as many responsibilities outside the office, and therefore are maybe able to work a little more than some other demographics do.

    A lot of companies have shifted to something called “paid time off,” which essentially means bucketing together sick days and vacation time, McGregor said. And that can actually make employees less likely to take time off, since they worry taking vacation days now will mean fewer sick days later.

    The survey also found people are more likely to be productive and get promoted when they take time off. So what can companies do to ensure their employees take vacation?

    Some companies have taken to paying employees to take vacations, McGregor said. But she thinks the most important thing is for managers and leaders to take off themselves, showing younger employees that vacation days are meant to be used.

  • U.S. Senate Moves Forward With Health Care Debate

    Tuesday U.S. Senate Republicans voted to move forward with debate on health care laws. U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin cast a deciding “yes” vote. While Republicans had the votes to proceed, it’s unclear whether or not the votes will be there for passage of a bill. We talk to a political scientist about today’s votes and what they could mean for the future of health care in the U.S.

Episode Credits

  • Judith Siers-Poisson Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Producer
  • Judith Siers-Poisson Producer
  • Amanda Magnus Producer
  • Matthew DeFour Guest
  • Jena McGregor Guest
  • Capri Cafaro Guest

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