National Partnership for Women & Families

Groundbreaking Agreement between Workers and Businesses Brings Major Victory for Seattle Workers, Who Will Soon Be Able to Earn

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — September 12, 2011 —
“Seattle workers, businesses and lawmakers have been working together in an unprecedented, collaborative effort to guarantee workers in the city the right to earn paid sick days. Today, their hard work paid off when the City Council passed a strong paid sick days standard -- a groundbreaking victory for Seattle’s workers, businesses, residents and the nation.

When Mayor McGinn signs this bill, Seattle will become the third city in the nation to implement a job-protected paid sick days standard,  and nearly 190,000 workers in the city will no longer have to choose between their families’ health and their paycheck or job. Seattle’s standard will support economic security for working families in the city, improve public health, and increase the productivity and stability of Seattle businesses.

This summer, Connecticut became the first state to pass a paid sick days law, which will take effect in January. Paid sick days laws have been in place in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., for years, and they are working well. Momentum for paid sick days is building and public support is strong across the nation. Seattle has created a model that demonstrates that workers and businesses have shared interests and can work together to ensure workers’ access to paid sick days. It is a welcome change from the scorched-earth opposition we have seen from organized business interests in other places -- and it is a wise course.

We commend Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw, Tim Burgess, Sally J. Clark, Jean Godden, Bruce Harrell, Nick Licata, Mike O’Brien and Tom Rasmussen for voting for this bill, Mayor McGinn for his support, the more than 75 organizations in the Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce, and the workers and businesses whose hard work and commitment to the health and well-being of Seattle families made this possible. This victory will help Seattle workers and provide even more evidence that paid sick days are good for workers, families, businesses and communities."

Contact

Sadie Kliner (202) 986-2600 skliner@nationalpartnership.org

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

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