More Than 7.5 Million Workers Just Gained the Right to Earn Paid Sick Days in 'Historic Advance for the Country'

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

“As the country’s second and third statewide paid sick days laws take full effect today, we can look forward to a healthier and more economically secure nation. An additional 7.5 million workers in California and Massachusetts now have the right to accrue sick time they can use to recover from common illnesses, get medical treatment, or care for a child or close family member. This is undeniably a historic advance for the country and the effort to ensure that, one day very soon, all workers have this basic right.

Today, workers in California and Massachusetts join those in Bloomfield, N.J., who began earning paid sick days under their new citywide law yesterday. And they join workers in the more than 20 other jurisdictions that now have, or will soon have, paid sick days laws in place. The majority of these laws were passed in just the last two years, which is a clear sign of strong public demand and a growing body of evidence that supports paid sick days, as well as a testament to the efforts of workers, businesses, advocates and lawmakers across the country.

But, despite the remarkable progress seen today and in recent years, millions of people still cannot earn a single paid sick day in this country, and it hurts workers, their families, businesses and our economy. Workers’ ability to stay home when they have the flu or a child has strep throat should not depend on where they live or who they work for, and no one should have to make impossible choices between a job and what’s best for her or his health or family. It is past time for Congress to recognize this and pass 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.

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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