If you have to take time off work sick or your workplace closes down, what are your legal rights? If your child’s school is closed, can you stay home? We're updating this page with all the information you need to know about ongoing action and your existing legal rights around paid sick time and paid family and medical leave.
In the midst of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the law’s implementation could not be more timely or critical. In addition to preventive care and personal/family illness or medical needs, Pittsburgh's paid sick leave law, like several others, allows workers to use sick time if: their workplace is closed by a public health official (due to a public health emergency); they need to care for their child if the child's school or care provider is closed for the same reason.
With the rapid spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), schools and businesses across the globe have closed their doors with the hope that keeping children and workers at home will help contain the outbreak. It is is very possible that schools and businesses in the U.S. will close in the coming weeks. Fortunately for workers in certain jurisdictions, they are eligible for paid sick time when their workplace or child’s school or place of care is closed for a public health emergency.
Eleven states guarantee paid sick time for yourself or to stay home with a sick family member: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington State, as well as D.C. Dozens of localities also guarantee paid sick time, including New York City, Westchester County, and several cities in California and Washington State—all areas highly affected by Coronavirus.
In a victory for millions of workers and families, a New York State Court recently upheld New York City’s Fair Workweek law—a law ensuring low wage workers are protected from abusive, unpredictable scheduling practices that make it difficult to work and care for a family, in part by requiring employers to give their workers sufficient notice of their schedules.
Yanelia Ramirez, a nail salon worker. Pedro Gamboa, an airport worker. Jacqui Orie, a nanny. Ricarda, a laundry worker. Each of them share something in common: they work long, hard hours with no right to paid time off to attend important life events, spend time with their families, or simply relax. On September 9th, we were proud to join these workers in calling for New York City to pass a bill giving New Yorkers the right to earn 10 days of paid personal time at a rally on the steps of City Hall
We need this bill not only to catch up with other advanced economies, but also because it will make our workforce stronger, healthier, and more productive. This groundbreaking proposal would be a huge step forward for the rights and well-being of working families across the City and set in motion a new national standard.
We were proud to work with the City to draft and pass paid sick days, and to expand the law to cover safe leave and expand family definitions, and we applaud the Mayor, Public Advocate, and City Council for recognizing that New Yorkers also deserve paid personal time.
This is an exciting moment for our movement to honor care and support basic rights for all workers – in sickness and in health! It is a recognition that workers need time for themselves and their families and that government has a role to play in making sure that happens.
These rights enable workers to care for themselves and their families. Unless workers have advance knowledge of when they will be called to work, they cannot make child care plans or control their time. The law also helps deal with the problem of under scheduling by requiring access to hours for current employees when an employer adds time to the schedule.