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Although Washington, D.C., was the second U.S. city to enact a paid sick days law, certain workers – including tipped restaurant workers – are excluded from coverage.
More than 865,000 Washington workers — about 39 percent of the state’s private-sector workforce — are not able to take a paid sick day when they are ill.
Every day, millions of workers in the United States are forced to jeopardize their wages and their jobs when they become sick or need to care for a sick child or loved one. For women, the inability to earn paid sick days can have particularly devastating consequences.
Every day, millions of U.S. workers face an impossible choice when they are sick: stay home and risk their economic security or go to work and risk their health and the public’s health.
Children inevitably get sick – and they get better faster when their parents care for them. Unfortunately, tens of millions of workers in the United States are not able to earn paid days to care for a sick child.
Millions of working people provide care for family members who are elderly, have disabilities or are chronically ill. Many of these family caregivers are struggling to manage both their caregiving responsibilities and the jobs they need to support their families, and they receive little help from their employers or public policies.
More than 12 million Latino workers – nearly 60 percent of the Latino workforce – don’t have a single paid sick day to use to recover from common illnesses. Many more don’t have paid sick days to care for a sick child.
No one should face the impossible choice of caring for their health or keeping their paycheck or job. But more than 40 million private sector workers – 40 percent of the workforce – must make this decision every time illness strikes because they don’t have access to earned paid sick days.
We all want what’s best for our kids. Both parents and educators know firsthand the importance of keeping children healthy, and access to paid sick days for parents can make a real difference.
No worker should have to lose income or risk being fired for taking time off to recover from illness or care for a sick loved one, especially at a time when families’ finances are stretched and jobs can be hard to find. Yet nearly 44 million workers in the United States are not able to earn paid sick days, and African American workers are less likely to have access to this critical labor standard.
Testimony of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families, On Introduction 0097-2010, In relation to the provision of sick time earned by employees. Submitted to the New York City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor.
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