It comes as a shock to many Americans, who take for granted that they can stay home from work when they are sick, that 40 to 44 million of their fellow workers don’t have a single paid sick day. In fact, 38 percent of private sector U.S. employees have no paid sick time according to government statistics. Even fewer workers can take time off if their child or another family member is sick.
The good news is that organizations and individuals around the country who care about workers and their families, who care about public health and who believe in basic employment rights are working to change this.
There is growing momentum throughout the United States for laws guaranteeing that workers can earn a minimum amount of paid sick time.
Paid sick time laws have been passed in San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Connecticut; Philadelphia; Seattle; Long Beach, California; Portland, Oregon; New York City; and Jersey City. Click here to view our overview of the paid sick time laws that are in effect or will become effective in early 2014, and see below for more background information on all paid sick time legislative successes:
The Healthy Families Act (H.R. 1286 / S. 631) has been reintroduced in the House and Senate. The bill would guarantee workers the right to earn up to 7 paid sick days a year to address their own health needs or to care for a sick family member.
Among private sector workers who do have access to paid sick time, only 30% can use that time to care for a sick child. Nine states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation to address this problem, allowing workers who have paid sick time to use that time to care for a sick family member. Click here to learn more about kin care laws around the country.
The movement for paid sick time is growing. Local campaigns are sprouting up around the country and A Better Balance is providing legal advice and support. Find out what’s happening in your community:
A Better Balance has developed helpful tools and information to assist your paid sick days campaign. Click here for more.