New Findings: Paid Sick Days for 50 Million Uncovered Workers Next Step in Containing Health Costs
White House Advisor Terrell McSweeny to Address Small Business Owners & Workers, Public Health & Family Advocates Who Are Calling for Passage of Healthy Families Act
Secretary of Labor to Give Monday Remarks on Work & Family Policies
WASHINGTON, D.C.— April 23, 2010 — Findings from a group of public health and workplace advocates to be issued on Tuesday, April 27 at 9AM will document how a national paid sick days standard for the 50 million workers in America who lack paid sick time — including 40% of the private workforce — would help contain health care costs and help workers forced to choose between their health and their job when illness strikes. Terrell McSweeny, Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President and Deputy Assistant to the President, will also address small business owners and workers from around the country who are calling for passage of the Healthy Families Act (HR 2460/S 1152).
The briefing, from the Institute for Women's Policy Research with the National Partnership for Women & Families and Family Values at Work, will explain how the federal legislation to provide up to 7 paid sick days would build on the historic momentum of health care reform, establish a critical safety net during the recession and advance the health and economic security of all Americans.
Small business owners and workers will travel from Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington to share stories about the value of paid sick days and family leave insurance during the recession.
The Tuesday briefing will follow Monday remarks from Labor Secretary Hilda Solis — to be delivered at 6:00PM at the Fairfax Hotel — about workplace policies that help workers manage their responsibilities at work and at home. The events build on a growing tide of support from the Obama administration for work and family policies, including paid sick days and paid family leave.
Terrell McSweeny, Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President and Deputy Assistant to the President; Middle Class Task Force
Debra Ness, National Partnership for Women & Families
Ellen Bravo, Family Values at Work
Kevin Miller, Institute for Women's Policy Research
Business Owners and Workers from Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington (speaker summaries below)
Press Conference featuring federal paid sick days analysis and stories from small business owners and workers
Tuesday, April 27th
9:00 AM, Eastern
Capitol Visitors Center
Room SVC 202-203
PAID FAMILY LEAVE
Selena Allen, Auburn, WA
Selena’s son was born prematurely. She wanted to save her limited family leave until after her son left the hospital. So, despite her son’s health issues, she returned to work days after giving birth. She commuted through rush hour traffic from work to the hospital for visiting hours and back to pick up her older son from childcare, all while recovering from childbirth and missing the first days of bonding with her infant.
Kelly Conklin, Bloomfield, NJ
Kelly owns Foley-Waite Associates Inc., which manufactures built-in cabinets and wood furniture. As an employer, she finds New Jersey’s family leave insurance fund is not a hardship because there is no employer contribution. She believes that her employees do their best work if they are not distracted by family emergencies and that offering a better quality of life to employees helps her to attract the best and the brightest.
Julie Markiewicz, Portland, OR
A few years ago, Julie was in a terrible motorcycle accident. Because none of her family could take off time from work, she had to be alone at the hospital and at home.
PAID SICK DAYS
Roseanne Martino, New York City, NY
Roseanne is the general manager of One If By Land, an upscale restaurant that supports paid sick days.
Megan Sacks, Tacoma, WA
Megan works as a server in a restaurant and has no paid sick days. She called in sick with the flu, but was told by her supervisor that, unless she was "on her deathbed," she had to work. A customer called the health department and three weeks later she lost her job.
Mary Tillman, Mattapan, MA
Mary is a personal care attendant who works with seniors and people with disabilities. She has no paid sick days, vacation days or other paid days off. She is raising three of grandchildren and one great grandchild. When any of them get sick, she has to take them with her to work.
Marilynn Winn, Atlanta, GA
Marilynn is her elderly mother’s only caregiver. In 2008, she worked at the Braves’ stadium, Turner Field. Her mother was the victim of identity theft, lost everything, and needed help filing for food stamps. Marilynn’s employer said she may not still have a job if she took time off to help her mother, so her mother did not get food stamps that year.
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a non-profit, non-partisan 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.