A Better Balance Co-Founder and Co-President Sherry Leiwant issued the following statement in response to the Senate’s passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act:
“As this country faces a public health emergency of unprecedented proportions, we are pleased that Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which will provide relief working families need now. For the first time in history, Congress is guaranteeing workers paid sick time to care for their own health or for some close family members when impacted by COVID-19. The bill provides for 10 paid sick days 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, and it provides 12 weeks of partial wage replacement when a child’s school or place of care has been closed, or child care is unavailable, due to COVID-19. We urge the President to sign the Families First Coronavirus Response Act into law without delay.
While passing this bill was a necessary first step, we urge Congress to take further action. Unfortunately, this bill leaves out at least 6.5 million workers who work at large businesses with 500 or more employees, and it allows the Secretary of Labor authority to issue hardship waivers for employers with fewer than 50 employees. All workers need protection during this national emergency, and failure to protect employees of the smallest and largest companies is both unjust and dangerous for public health.
We will be working closely with Congress to ensure all U.S. workers have basic rights with respect to their ability to care for themselves and their loved ones — both during this crisis, and after it has ended.