Implementation Strategies: Riding the Wave of Sick Days Laws
By Liz Ben-Ishai
Over the past year, the movement for earned sick days has rapidly gained momentum: in 2013, sick days laws passed in Portland, New York City, and Philadelphia.* Meanwhile, the recent passage of a family leave insurance bill in Rhode Island brought another jolt of excitement to the broader paid leave movement. So what’s next in the cities and states that have recently passed critical legislation to improve job quality for workers and their families? It’s time to turn to the implementation process.
This week, CLASP releases the third in a series of implementation briefs on earned sick days laws. The first two briefs, released in the spring, highlighted best practices emerging from the west coast with San Francisco’s and Seattle’s earned sick days laws. The third brief takes us to the east coast, where the first, and so far only, state-level sick days law exists. In Connecticut, state officials overcame challenges associated with a tough economic climate as they wrote guidelines and conducted outreach to employers and employees. The Connecticut experience offers useful lessons about interacting with stakeholders through the guideline or regulation writing process and working with limited resources.
As more sick days laws are passed across the country, effective implementation and enforcement will ensure that workers reap their benefits. We encourage policymakers, administrators and advocates who work on sick days laws to learn from the experiences of Connecticut and pioneering cities.
*Philadelphia’s sick days law was later vetoed by the Mayor.