National Partnership for Women & Families

Public Welfare Foundation Launches $1 Million Sick Leave Initiative

National Partnership for Women & Families to receive first grant.
Washington, D.C. — April 23, 2007 —
Nearly half of America’s private workers do not receive even one day of paid sick leave, and the United States stands nearly alone among the community of nations in penalizing its workforce for illness.

Low-wage workers, many of whom are single mothers living from paycheck to paycheck with little or no money in savings, tend to be hit the hardest by not having paid sick leave. Furthermore, workers who are fired for missing work are rarely eligible for unemployment insurance.

It’s a situation the Washington-based Public Welfare Foundation hopes to do something about.

"A low wage worker — or any worker for that matter — shouldn't have to choose between going to work with a 102 degree fever or losing a day's pay, when she's already struggling to make ends meet," Foundation President Deborah Leff said. "The Public Welfare Foundation is looking for solutions to the problem, and our hope is that this million-dollar initiative will spark new ideas and actions."

In an effort to promote reforms that will secure paid sick-leave for American workers, Public Welfare’s Board of Directors announced today that it has approved a two-year, $1 million initiative for groups to build support for paid sick leave, raise awareness about the issue, and identify policy solutions. The Public Welfare Foundation initiative is the largest and the first of its kind devoted solely to the issue of paid sick leave.

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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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