In February, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CN) introduced the Healthy Families Act to give workers the opportunity to earn up to seven paid sick days. More than 43 million American workers currently earn no sick time and have to make a choice between losing wages and staying home if they or a family member are ill.
According to the AFL-CIO website, more than four in 10 private-sector workers and 81% of low-wage workers do not have paid sick days. A 2014 study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research shows that Latinos and those who make less than $20,000 a year are the workers least likely to have paid sick days. Even worse is the fact that many of the workers without sick days are food preparation or service workers, despite health department recommendations that these workers not go to work sick.
There is growing momentum across the country to pass paid family leave and paid sick days legislation. Twenty jurisdictions nationwide now have paid sick day laws in place. Philadelphia is the most recent city to pass legislation.