In the midst of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic, the CDC has recommended that everyone take steps to protect themselves and their communities, including avoiding close contact with others. If…
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
While Jetaun was given a room to pump, the room was shared with another company, and a sign placed on the door was insufficient to ensure her privacy (which is often medically necessary for milk expression). At one point, a male employee entered without knocking while she was pumping. Jetaun was very upset by this violation of her privacy, and she brought the issue to a manager, to no avail.
We were proud to lead the hard-won fight to pass these laws, and ensure New York sets a national standard for fair and equal pay. We’re also proud of the U.S. women’s soccer players for standing up for the equal pay they deserve, and for shining a spotlight on the broad issue of pay disparity across the U.S., which impacts groups including low wage workers, single mothers, and women of color particularly harshly.
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.