"Historic Victory for Workers" as Connecticut Legislature Completes Work on Paid Sick Days Bill
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — June 4, 2011 —
"In a huge and historic victory for workers, Connecticut today became the first state to pass a paid sick days standard. With Governor Malloy poised to sign it, today’s action means that hundreds of thousands of workers in Connecticut will no longer have to report to work sick, spreading contagion to co-workers and to those they serve at restaurants, nursing homes, schools and other workplaces. Because of this law, parents will no longer have to leave sick children home alone or send them to school or daycare to infect other children. And because of this law, cash-strapped working families will no longer lose pay — and jeopardize their economic security — when illness strikes. This is a good day for Connecticut.
This groundbreaking victory means that Connecticut joins San Francisco and the District of Columbia in giving workers a well-deserved, common-sense right to earn paid sick days. It also provides momentum to help advance the paid sick days measures now being considered by other cities and states, including Massachusetts, Philadelphia, Seattle, Denver and New York City.
More than 40 million workers in this country — and more than 80 percent of low-wage workers — don’t have a single paid sick day to recover from illness or care for their families. It’s time for action. The paid sick days law in San Francisco, in place for more than four years, is a proven success that has won support even from those who once opposed it. And there is long-documented, overwhelming public support for paid sick days laws
which allow workers to keep themselves, their families and their communities healthy.
We applaud every Connecticut General Assembly member who supported this bill for standing up for working families when it mattered, and offer special thanks to Senator Edith Prague and to the Connecticut Working Families Organization, the Everybody Benefits coalition and other allies. Because of their work, hundreds of thousands of working families in Connecticut will no longer have to choose between their health and their economic security when illness strikes.
Connecticut is a trailblazer on this issue — the first to adopt a statewide paid sick days measure, but not the last. We look forward to further progress in other cities and states, and urge Congress to make passage of the Healthy Families Act a priority.”
Comments on today’s vote from a broad and growing coalition of organizations committed to increasing access to paid sick days for workers in the United States can be found here: www.nationalpartnership.org/ctquotes
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.