D.C. added to the momentum around paid sick days that began last year and will continue in 2014 when Mayor Gray signed a measure to expand the District’s paid sick days law to cover an additional 20,000 tipped restaurant and bar workers. This is a major victory for D.C. workers and their families that will improve public health and support the local economy.
The Earned Sick and Safe Leave Amendment Act ensures that a segment of the workforce that is critical to the District’s economy and overall health — those who work in bars and restaurants — will finally have the protection of the District’s 2008 paid sick days law. It will also allow all workers in the District to accrue paid sick days immediately and begin using them after 90 days on the job, eliminating the requirement that they be at a job for one year and 1,000 hours. This is the first time that existing paid sick days legislation has been strengthened to ensure all workers have the protection they need.
This victory was made possible by the dedicated Paid Sick Days for All coalition and the D.C. City Council. We commend Mayor Gray for signing this bill into law. With the deadline for him to sign a minimum wage increase fast approaching, we hope he will continue to show his commitment to the well-being of the District and its families by ensuring that it becomes law as well. All workers need and deserve a living wage and family friendly workplaces.