A Better Balance applauds Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for swiftly reaching an agreement on a bill that will ensure millions of working families in New York are provided job protection and economic security amidst the COVID-19 public health crisis, and beyond. In this time of crisis, the new law will help New Yorkers to follow New York State’s and the CDC’s recommendations to protect their own health and the health of their loved ones, while also protecting the health of the public as a whole.
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.
For the first time in history, Congress is addressing the need of workers for paid sick time for themselves or some close family members when impacted by the coronavirus. The bill that was passed last night provides for 10 paid sick days and 12 weeks paid leave for those who are sick from the coronavirus, quarantined, affected by closures or caring for a close family member who is sick, quarantined or affected by closures of schools.
A Better Balance urges Congress to swiftly pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act—a critical measure which will protect the health and economic security of workers and families across the country, providing them with permanent paid sick leave, and temporary emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid family and medical leave.
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.
As the U.S. gears up to fight the spread of the Coronavirus, the CDC is advising that Americans, when sick, should not go to work or school. But the sobering reality is that for tens of millions of workers across the U.S.—especially those who are juggling caring for a family—taking a single sick day could mean being unable to afford basic necessities, or even losing a job.
After drawn out litigation, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year that the State’s attempts to pass legislation that prohibits cities from passing laws regarding benefits—including paid leave—violates Arizona’s paid sick and safe days ballot initiative and the Arizona Voter Protection Act. The Arizona Supreme Court has now settled the issue by refusing to interfere with the Court of Appeals decision. As a result, local governments in Arizona can pass paid leave and other benefits laws that build on all rights at the state level.
Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down a long-awaited decision upholding Pittsburgh’s paid sick time ordinance. The City of Pittsburgh, with assistance from A Better Balance and many other community organizations, passed the ordinance nearly four years ago to the day—on August 3, 2015—but its implementation had been on hold while a lawsuit against the law made its way through the court system.