This Labor Day, Seattle Working Families Have New Workplace Standard to Celebrate as Historic Paid Sick Days Law Takes Effect

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

"As Labor Day weekend begins, Seattle’s working families can add the right to earn paid sick days to their reasons to celebrate. As of today, Seattle is the third city in the nation to guarantee workers the right to earn paid sick days, thanks to an unprecedented, collaborative effort on the part of workers, businesses and lawmakers in the city. It is a historic day for Seattle and for workers across the country.

Nearly 190,000 workers in Seattle now have the right to earn the job-protected time they need to recover from common illnesses and care for their families’ health without risking their jobs and economic security. No longer will workers have to choose between staying home with the flu and spreading it to coworkers and their communities. No longer will working parents have to make the impossible choice between sending a sick child to school and staying home to give that child the care it needs. Working families, businesses and the public will all benefit as a result.

This groundbreaking victory in Seattle adds to the growing support and momentum for paid sick days we’re seeing across the country. Now, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Seattle and the state of Connecticut guarantee workers the basic right to earn paid sick days. We are another step closer to the family friendly nation America’s working families need. And, with progress on the horizon in places like New York City and Orange County, Florida, this is just the beginning.

We commend the organizations in the Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce, and the workers, businesses and lawmakers whose hard work and commitment to Seattle’s working families have finally paid off. We now have a powerful new model for future paid sick days efforts as we continue the fight for the day when no worker has to choose between work and family because of a lack of paid sick days."

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 women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. Based in Washington, D.C., the organization drafted and led the fight to pass the Family and Medical Leave Act. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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