National Partnership for Women & Families

Ness to Testify on Healthy Families Act Tuesday

Measure to Provide Seven Paid Sick Days is Next Step in Making Nation's Laws More Family Friendly, Expert Will Say
Washington, D.C. — February 12, 2007 —
National Partnership for Women & Families President Debra L. Ness, one of the nation’s top experts on family friendly workplace policies, will testify Tuesday when Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor (HELP) Committee, holds the first-ever hearing on how our lack of a minimum standard of paid sick days affects working families. Senator Kennedy and Congresswoman Rose DeLauro (D-CT) have introduced the Healthy Families Act, which would require employers with 15 or more employees to provide seven paid sick days to care for their own and their families’ medical needs. Today 47 percent of private-sector workers and 76 percent of low-wage workers have no paid sick days at all. The hearing will be:

Tuesday, February 13
9:30 AM, Interviews with Experts & Workers Who Have No Paid Sick Days
10 AM, HELP Committee Hearing on Healthy Families Act
430 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC

In addition to Ness, witnesses will include Dr. Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH, of the San Francisco Department of Health; Heidi I. Hartmann, PHD, of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research; and Dr. Jody Heymann, MD, PHD, of Harvard and McGill Universities.

The Healthy Families Act applies to employers with 15 or more employees, guaranteeing seven paid sick days annually to address an employee’s short-term medical needs; an employee’s doctor’s appointment, or other preventative or diagnostic treatment; and to care for a family member with comparable needs. It provides pro-rated leave for part-time employees.

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

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