National Partnership for Women & Families

Seattle Becomes the Third U.S. City to Guarantee Paid Sick Days, Providing a "Powerful Model Where Shared Interests Trump Scare Tactics and Progress Prevails Over Politics"

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women
Washington, D.C. — September 23, 2011 —
“By signing a strong and badly-needed paid sick days bill into law, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has certified a groundbreaking victory for workers, businesses and advocates in his city. Today, Seattle became the third city in the nation to guarantee workers the right to earn paid sick days.

Momentum for paid sick days is building. This victory follows Connecticut’s groundbreaking move this summer to become the first state to guarantee workers the right to earn paid sick days. But Seattle offers something unprecedented — a model for collaboration between workers, businesses, legislators and advocates to craft and pass a paid sick days law. In doing so, the city is providing a powerful model where shared interests trump scare tactics and a commitment to progress prevails over politics. As a result, nearly 190,000 workers in the city will no longer have to worry about losing much-needed income or their jobs when they get sick or their children need care. Working families, businesses and the public will all benefit as a result.

Special thanks go to the Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce for spearheading a campaign with remarkable results, to the progressive business leaders who recognized the benefits of paid sick days and collaborated with workers and advocates to develop the agreement that led to this victory, to Councilmember Licata for his leadership, and to Mayor McGinn for his support.

Now three U.S. cities and one state will guarantee workers the right to earn the paid sick days they need to protect their families’ health and the health of their communities without risking their economic security. That is real progress — but it’s just the beginning.

There couldn’t be a better time to enact policies that protect jobs and ensure families can stay afloat. The momentum for paid sick days laws we have seen this year will continue. And with Seattle providing an effective and promising model, we look forward to more victories at the local, state and federal levels. It’s time.”

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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