Summer may be coming to an end, but some efforts to advance paid sick days standards across the country are just starting to heat up.
This week, lawmakers in Jersey City, New Jersey, are expected to introduce a bill that would guarantee workers in the city the right to earn paid sick days. The proposal has strong support from the mayor, who is championing the bill and recently called providing paid sick days a matter of “basic human dignity.” The campaign officially launched today, led by a coalition of advocacy groups, labor unions and small businesses.
Meanwhile, support for a statewide paid sick days standard for New Jersey continues to grow. Last month, more than 150 New Jersey women leaders pledged their support for paid sick days. And members of the New Jersey Time to Care Coalition continue to raise awareness of the need for the policy in their communities and among state lawmakers.
Also on the state level, efforts to guarantee paid sick days in Massachusetts continue. Last week, the state attorney general certified ballot language for a measure that would establish a statewide standard, in addition to one that would raise the minimum wage. This is a first and important step in getting these proposals on the November 2014 ballot. Check out Raise Up Massachusetts for more.
On the other side of the country, in Tacoma, Washington, advocates, businesses and lawmakers are also working on a proposal to establish a paid sick days standard for the city — following the lead of Seattle, which became the third city in the nation to guarantee paid sick days last year. The effort is being led by Healthy Tacoma, which held an awareness-raising event just last week.
As these new campaigns and efforts pick up steam, officials in Portland and New York City are preparing for the implementation of their new paid sick days laws, which were both passed this year. Workers in both cities will begin earning paid sick days next year.
There has also been some exciting, family friendly progress in California, where a bill to expand access to the state’s groundbreaking paid leave insurance program awaits the governor’s signature. The bill would expand the definition of “family” under the law to include grandparents, siblings and in-laws. This would be a tremendous victory for workers and families in California.
This activity — from New Jersey to Washington — is paving the way for more victories for workers, families, businesses and our economy. Stay tuned!