“At a time of great momentum in the effort to increase access to paid sick days in this country, Sen. Patty Murray (D – Wash.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D – Conn.) today introduced a proposal that would establish an urgently needed national standard. In doing so, they have joined with nearly 140 of their colleagues to take a clear stand for a comprehensive plan that will guarantee workers the designated paid sick time they need to meet their health and financial needs while boosting businesses’ productivity and retention, and strengthening our economy.
The Healthy Families Act is the kind of pro-worker, pro-women policy the country truly needs. At least 41 million private sector workers in the United States cannot earn a single paid sick day. An estimated 22 million women, more than 7.3 million Black workers and 14 million Latino workers are affected – despite nearly 40 jurisdictions now having laws that guarantee the protection. When illnesses strike, too many of these workers have to choose between their health and the health of their families and putting food on the table or paying rent because their employers and our nation’s public policies fail to support them.
The Healthy Families Act would change that by ending the days when access to paid sick time depends on where people live or the jobs they hold. It would allow all workers at businesses with 15 or more employees to earn up to seven paid sick days per year to recover from illness, care for a sick family member, obtain preventive care for themselves or a family member, and seek services related to domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault. Workers at smaller businesses would earn unpaid, job-protected sick time for the same purposes.
We commend the lawmakers who took a stand today and call on anyone who claims to want to keep America’s workers from having to choose between job and family to support and prioritize passage of the Healthy Families Act. It is a common sense policy proposal that has been tested and shown to work well in many places across the country, without adverse business or economic effects. And 82 percent of 2016 voters said it is important for the new president and Congress to consider a federal paid sick days law like it. Lawmakers should heed that call to action by supporting the Healthy Families Act.”
The National Partnership convenes a broad and diverse coalition that supports the Healthy Families Act. More information can be found at PaidSickDays.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.