Sick Days and Family Medical Leave
The nation has entered an exciting new era that will allow millions of lower-wage workers to access health care insurance. Tragically, many of these workers will be unable to take advantage of this historic new benefit because they cannot take time off of work to get the care they need due to lack of earned sick days. With no job protections or paid sick leave, these workers face impossible choices between taking time to access healthcare for themselves or their loved ones and potentially losing wages or even their jobs.
At the same time, the nation is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), an historic act that allowed many workers time to care for themselves or their loved ones. However, many workers are unable to take advantage of this policy, which guarantees only unpaid leave, because they cannot afford to take to with family without pay. Many more remain ineligible for even unpaid leave, because their employer is exempt from the policy or they have insufficient tenure in their job.
As part of its work life and job quality work, CLASP advocates for state and federal earned sick days and paid family and medical leave insurance policies that will prevent more workers from being denied the time to tend to their own or a family member's health, or care for a new child. Across the country, campaigns to secure these workplace protections for all workers are gaining momentum.
Nov 29, 2016 | PERMALINK »
Tacoma Serves as Model for Paid Sick Time Implementation
The people have spoken about the importance of paid sick time. With the passage of state-wide ballot initiatives in Arizona and Washington on November 8, the U.S. now has seven states and over 30 cities and counties with laws requiring employers to provide paid sick time. But passing these laws is only the first step in ensuring that workers can benefit from this vital labor protection. A paid sick time law will only be effective when the government office charged with implementing it takes responsibility for informing the public about the law and ensuring that employers comply. Today CLASP is releasing a new brief, “Learning from Predecessors but Breaking New Ground: Lessons from Tacoma’s Paid Sick and Safe Time Outreach and Enforcement.” This new piece describes the city of Tacoma, Washington’s strategies for ensuring the protection of workers’ right to paid sick time.
Tacoma uses multiple strategies to inform the city’s workers and employers of their rights and responsibilities. The city has set up information booths at job fairs so that job seekers will know what labor protections their new employer must provide. The agency has also posted information about the law’s “safe time” provision in clinics providing services for survivors of domestic violence. Further, Tacoma has partnered with employer organizations like the Washington Hospitality Association and unions such as the United Food and Commercial Workers to spread the word about the law’s provisions. These groups have helped the city explain to employers how best to comply with the law, while simultaneously informing workers how to use paid sick time or file a complaint against their employer if necessary.
Tacoma’s Office of Minimum Enforcement Standards has also made an impressive start in fulfilling its duty to enforce the city’s paid sick and safe time law. Though the law has been in effect for less than 10 months, the agency has already reached—over the phone, through posters, and at in-person presentations—thousands of the city’s residents, and its enforcement efforts have led to over $8,000 in paid sick time restored to workers.
Adding to CLASP’s series of briefs on paid sick time implementation, “Learning from Predecessors” provides paid sick time enforcement agencies and advocates with a model for how a small agency can strategically deploy resources to make a big impact for employees. Click here to read the brief.
- Liz Ben-Ishai | Apr 20, 2016 L.A. Sick Days Victory Packs Equity Punch
- Zoe Ziliak Michel | Apr 07, 2016 Chamber of Commerce Members Support Job Quality Legislation
- Zoe Ziliak Michel and Liz Ben-Ishai | Mar 31, 2016 Good Jobs for All: Racial Inequities in Job Quality
- Zoe Ziliak Michel | Mar 24, 2016 The Healthy Families Act - Fact Sheet for Businesses (Spanish)
- Zoe Ziliak Michel | Mar 24, 2016 The Business Benefits of Paid Sick Time (Spanish)
- Zoe Ziliak Michel | Nov 29, 2016 Tacoma Serves as Model for Paid Sick Time Implementation
- Zoe Ziliak Michel | Nov 29, 2016 Learning from Predecessors but Breaking New Ground: Lessons from Tacoma’s Paid Sick and Safe Time Outreach and Enforcement
- Zoe Ziliak Michel | Nov 15, 2016 Voters Increase Minimum Wage, Guarantee Paid Sick Time for Millions of Workers
- Nov 08, 2016 Getting Down To Business November
- Zoe Ziliak Michel | Oct 27, 2016 Domestic Violence Awareness Month Reinforces Need for ‘Safe Time’ Rights