The PAID Leave Act, introduced by Rep. DeLauro, Sen. Gillibrand, and Sen. Murray, is a comprehensive emergency paid sick time and paid family and medical leave bill that builds on the protections in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. As COVID-19 spreads and businesses and schools close down nationwide, this bill provides relief that workers and families need now.
The proposed law would guarantee all workers 14 emergency paid sick days and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, with the federal government reimbursing businesses in 2020 and 2021. It would also, for the first time, create a permanent, nationwide right for workers to accrue seven days of paid sick time and permanently enact a paid family and medical leave program.
The COVID-19 public health emergency has shone a spotlight on the impossible choice workers have long faced between caring for their health or the health of a loved one, and their paycheck. These protections are always urgent for the tens of millions of low wage workers who currently have no access to paid sick leave and are on the frontlines of contact with the public (such as those who work in restaurants, service and health care industries), but amidst this pandemic we can graphically see how denying this basic benefit to workers puts the health of those workers and all of us at risk.