Recent Report Notes Millions of Workers Would Benefit from Paid Sick Days Legislation

Mar 11, 2010

By Andrea Lindemann

The Joint Economic Committee this month released a report which estimates that the Healthy Families Act would provide access to paid sick days to at least 30.3 million additional workers.

The Act would significantly expand access for America's most vulnerable workers, including low-wage workers, women, and minorities.  These low-wage workers often are employed in jobs such as child care, food service and personal care in which they have close contact with children, the general public or elderly and convalescing populations.  Not allowing these workers access to paid sick days fosters the spread of disease and decreases productivity across workforces.

Paid sick days are a crucial element for the economic security of workers, especially during this painful economic climate in which American families need stability the most.

On March 10, 2010, Sen. Christopher Dodd, Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Rosa DeLauro, Lynn Woolsey and Gwen Moore held a press conference to highlight the report's findings.

"Unfortunately, our current system has it backwards, as nearly half of all American private-sector workers have no paid sick leave," Sen. Dodd said.  "Every day, thousands of employees have to decide between staying healthy and making ends meet-a choice that's not only unfair, but poses a risk to public health and safety. It's time to give hard-working Americans the paid sick leave they need and deserve."

The Healthy Families Act would benefit both workers and employers.  Rep. DeLauro said "it will save employers money, encourage productivity, and help boost the economy." 

CLASP's long-time partner, Jennifer Owens of Working Mother Media, spoke at a briefing about the JEC report.  She noted the importance of paid sick days from her perspective as an employer and as an expert on best practices from her role in compiling the Working Mother 100 Best Companies List. 

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