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Joint Statement from Senator Murray and Rep. Rosa DeLauro on Expanding Access to Paid Sick Leave

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) today commended President Barack Obama’s proposal to expand paid sick days to more workers. Both legislators reiterated their strong support for the Healthy Families Act, a bill to let workers earn paid sick leave to use when they are sick, to care for a sick family member, to receive preventive care, and to address the impacts of domestic violence. Murray and DeLauro will reintroduce that bill in the coming weeks.

“Working families need and deserve the economic security of earning paid sick days so that moms and dads can care for a sick child without sacrificing a day’s pay or losing their job altogether. It is a matter of good public health to ensure everyone is able to care for themselves and their families when an illness or emergency strikes. We applaud President Obama for his endorsement of our bill, and in the coming months, we’re going to be fighting hard in Congress for the Healthy Families Act. Look no further than this season’s worse-than-expected flu outbreak to show why those who are sick should not be at work. All of our colleagues should join us in this effort to protect public health and give more parents some much-needed piece of mind.”

Healthier workers are more productive, and paid sick leave policies reduce the spread of illness, employee turnover, and its associated training costs. Despite this, 40 percent of all private-sector workers and 70 percent of low-wage workers have no paid sick days. The Healthy Families Act would ensure workers could earn up to 56 hours or seven days of paid sick leave. Workers would earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.