Our Issues

Paid Sick Time

When you are sick, you shouldn’t be forced to go to work. It’s bad for you, your co-workers, your employer, and your community.

While many workers take paid sick time (also commonly referred to as paid sick leave) for granted, millions of us can’t stay home when we are sick for fear of losing a day’s pay or even a job. Even fewer workers can take time off when a child or another family member is sick.

A Better Balance is drafting, passing, and implementing laws to guarantee all workers in the U.S. access to paid sick time when they need it to care for themselves and for their loved ones.

Landmark State and Local Paid Sick Time Victories

In the United States, dozens of jurisdictions—including states, cities, and counties— have paid sick time laws on the books, many of which A Better Balance has helped to draft and pass. As we work towards a future where all workers can access paid sick days, we have played a leading role passing groundbreaking laws at the state and local levels across the country.

Visit our interactive and customizable comparison of these laws.

 In 2014, we successfully passed a groundbreaking law in New York City that provided a strong model for other jurisdictions. Learn more about the history of paid sick time in NYC and how we have helped ensure smooth implementation of the law. 

In 2020, Colorado enacted a paid sick time law for workers in the state. ABB is proud to have played a leading role in passing this robust bill based on our model legislation, and our Colorado office is continually working on the ground to ensure this legislation is being enforced in the state. Learn more about CO workers’ rights to paid leave.

Our model sick time bill and other resources have been successfully used by campaigns across the country. Visit here to see a list of helpful tools, model paid sick time bills, and additional information to assist your paid sick days campaign.

Fighting for Paid Sick Time for All Workers

Since our inception, ABB has been fighting to pass a national paid sick time law that meets the needs of all workers caring for themselves and their loved ones. The COVID pandemic has illustrated just how important access to paid sick time is for protecting the health and safety of workers and their communities.

The federal Healthy Families Act would guarantee workers nationwide 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. The bill was last reintroduced in the House and Senate in 2021. 

Learn more: 

We have long recognized the importance of paid leave and sick time laws with inclusive family definitions in ensuring that all workers can care for those closest to them regardless of biological or legal relationship, and are committed to advancing policies that cover the full range of diversity among families.

Watch ABB Community Advocate Crystal discuss the importance of paid sick days for all workers during our 2022 webinar, “Sick Without A Safety Net: The Urgent Need and Case for a National Paid Sick Time Law” below:

Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, states, cities, and counties throughout the U.S. have acted to protect workers affected by the virus by enacting emergency paid sick time policies. Visit here to access the growing list of emergency paid sick time measures at the state and local level.

Throughout and beyond the pandemic, we remain dedicated to ensuring workers can stay safe and healthy on the job, and to empowering workers with knowledge of their rights to care for themselves and their loved ones in times of need. Our Know Your Rights resources have been visited and shared thousands of times during this challenging and confusing time, and we’ve assisted thousands with our free, confidential legal helpline.

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Workers in the United States lack access to paid sick days

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Food service workers do not have access to paid sick days

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Personal care workers do not have access to paid sick days

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