Rail Workers—and All Americans—Need Paid Sick Leave

Statement of Jocelyn Frye, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

"We recognize the urgency that we've seen from Congress to avoid a railroad strike, and we also know the urgent need to improve working conditions for rail workers. Like millions of workers across the country, being able to take time off when you are sick is critical. For years, too many rail workers have suffered as their employers denied them adequate time off work to make medical appointments or to care for themselves or their children when sick. These workers deserve better. Access to paid sick leave helps everybody.

"The health of rail workers is just as essential as their work to transport the goods Americans need each day. Forcing them to work while sick, especially during cold and flu season, will only make supply chain disruptions worse. The solution is providing them – and all workers – with an adequate number of paid sick days.

"Paid sick leave is good for business. It costs employers as little as an additional 21 cents an hour per worker, and it helps recruit more women and younger workers. Enacting a national paid sick leave policy would also help our economy as a whole, creating more jobs and improving the health, security, and stability of American families.

"We applaud the House for their vote today passing seven paid sick days for rail workers, and we're calling on the Senate to pass the resolution as well. Congress should put people over profits by voting yes to provide greater paid sick leave to rail workers – and take up the Healthy Families Act to provide paid sick leave for millions of other workers across the country."

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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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