As public health experts warn about the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s more important than ever that all workers are able to stay home to take care of our own health or care for a sick child or loved one when we need to. Unfortunately, the U.S. has no national paid sick time policy. But laws in your state, county, or city can help.
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 Washington, DC. 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. ‘Closure provisions‘ in the paid sick time laws in many jurisdictions also enable workers to stay home to protect their health and their families during times of public health emergencies.
For more information, see our interactive, comparative chart of all paid sick time laws in the U.S.
If you or a loved one are sick and you do not live in one of the states or localities with a right to paid sick time, you may have rights under a state paid family and medical leave law or the federal FMLA, which provides covered workers with 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid family and medical leave. But the need for Congressional action to provide both permanent and emergency paid sick leave rights to workers across the U.S. is urgent.