Today, as paid sick days activity continues throughout the country, Senator Tom Harkin (D – Iowa) introduced an exciting new piece of federal legislation that could establish a national paid sick days standard and highlights the critical connection between workers’ access to paid sick days and working families’ economic security.
The bill, the Rebuild America Act, is aimed at restoring economic growth and rebuilding the middle class. To that end, it includes the exact language of the Healthy Families Act — a bill that would guarantee workers the right to earn paid sick days. In addition, the legislation would increase the minimum wage, establish overtime pay protections, increase investments in education and child care and more.
As National Partnership for Women & Families President Debra L. Ness said: “[The Rebuild America Act] is an ambitious, comprehensive bill that addresses the real issues facing America’s families. It would surely go a long way in moving the country forward.”
Paid sick days are critical to the economic security of families, yet more than 44 million workers don’t have them. Advocates, legislators and workers in nearly 20 states and cities have taken the lead in pushing for policies that would help more workers gain this basic right. Members of Congress should follow suit by prioritizing bills like the Rebuild America Act and establishing a long overdue national paid sick days standard.