Department of Labor Releases Deeply Flawed Regulations, Denying Millions of Workers Paid Leave

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

“The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the consequences of not having a national paid sick days and paid leave policy to support our country’s hardworking families. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was an important first step to provide much needed support to workers so they can take time off work to care for themselves and their family members due to illness or school closures.

Unfortunately, on the day that this critical worker benefit was scheduled to go into effect, the U.S. Department of Labor released temporary regulations that are riddled with exclusions and will deny millions of workers the ability to take paid time off from work. The administration’s regulations fail to guarantee the 13 million health care providers and emergency responders who are on the frontline of this crisis, and those who are most at risk of exposure, access to paid sick days and paid leave. Moreover, small businesses with less than 50 employees will be able to deny parents a paycheck when they have no choice but to stay home to take care of their children. We know that there are 55 million children whose schools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While the intent of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was to provide a safety net to the workers who need it most, the regulations from the Department of Labor severely limit who will have access to paid sick days and paid leave. We are committed to working with leaders in Congress to ensure all Americans have paid leave protections to weather the health and financial challenges that this crisis has exposed.”

About the National Partnership

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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