A Better Balance Co-Founder and Co-President Sherry Leiwant issued the following statement on the House’s passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act:
“As this country faces a public health emergency of unprecedented proportions we are grateful that Congress has acted by passing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which recognizes the needs of America’s workers at this critical time. We especially thank Speaker Pelosi and Rep. Rosa DeLauro for their leadership in shepherding this legislation.
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.
We are disappointed that this bill leaves out at least 6.5 million workers who work at large businesses. Those workers also need protection and failure to protect them is both unfair and dangerous for public health. We are also disappointed that the definition of family member in the bill includes restrictions on coverage of children over age 18, siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren, as well as excluding chosen family (loved ones that don’t share a biological or legal relationship).
But this is relief that workers need now. We urge immediate passage of this bill as a first step to recognizing that America’s workers need their government to protect them in times of sickness. As we work to ensure that all U.S. workers have basic rights with respect to their ability to care for themselves and their family members, we urge the Senate to pass this bill immediately and the President to sign it.”