Would Allow Workers to Earn Paid Sick Days
(WASHINGTON, D.C.)— Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) today reintroduced the Healthy Families Act, legislation that would allow workers to earn paid sick leave to use when they are sick, to care for a sick family member, to obtain preventive care, or to address the impacts of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault.
“It is unacceptable that for 43 million of our nation’s workers, catching the flu or needing to care for a sick family member means losing a day of pay, or even losing a job,” said Murray, ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. “No one should ever have to choose between their health, or a loved one’s health, and their economic security, but our outdated policies are forcing too many workers to make that kind of choice. That needs to change, which is why it’s time to pass the Healthy Families Act and help make sure our economy works for all families, not just those at the top.”
“Everyone should be able to take care of themselves and their families when they are sick without having to worry about losing their jobs,” said DeLauro, senior Democrat on the subcommittee responsible for funding the departments of Labor, and Health and Human Services. “The United States is the only developed country that does not require employers to offer paid sick days. I am proud that my home state of Connecticut was the first in the nation to pass a paid sick days law, back in 2011. Since then it has spread to California, Massachusetts and nearly 20 cities. We need to take it national. The Healthy Families Act is smart policy that needs to become law.”
The Healthy Families Act would allow workers in businesses with at least 15 employees to earn up to 56 hours or seven days of job-protected paid sick leave each year. Workers would earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.
Employers that already provide paid sick time will not have to change their current policies, as long as they meet the minimum standards outlined in the Healthy Families Act. Employers can also require workers to provide documentation supporting any request for leave longer than three consecutive days.
Murray, an original cosponsor of the Healthy Families Act since 2004, has a proven track record spanning more than two decades of fighting for working families in Washington state and across the country, with policies that boost wages, expand tax cuts for the middle class, and encourage family-friendly workplaces. DeLauro is a longtime advocate for policies that benefit working Americans, and has introduced the Healthy Families Act in every Congress since 2004.
Original Senate cosponsors include Senators Gillibrand (D-NY), Sanders (I-VT), Coons (D-DE), Mikulski (D-MD), Warren (D-MA), Murphy (D-CT), Casey (D-PA), Whitehouse (D-RI), Franken (D-MA), Durbin (D-IL), Brown (D-OH), Heinrich (D-NM), Baldwin (D-WI), Booker (D-NJ), Hirono (D-HI), Merkley (D-OR), Peters (D-MI), Blumenthal (D-CT), Markey (D-MA), Leahy (D-VT).
Original House cosponsors are Representatives: DelBene (WA-01), Bustos (IL-17), Payne (NJ-10), Kennedy (MA-04), Carson (IN-07), Clark (MA-05), Clay (MO-01), Cleaver (MO-05), Israel (NY-03), McCollum (MN-04), McDermott (WA-07), Polis (CO-02), Ryan (OH-13), Swalwell (CA-15), Velazquez (NY-07), Slaughter (NY-25), Frankel (FL-22), Hahn (CA-44), Lujan Grisham (NM-01), Chu (CA-27), Dingell (MI-12), Matsui (CA-06), Brady (PA-01), Crowley (NY-14), Langevin (RI-02), Boyle (PA-13), Clarke (NY-09), Tsongas (MA-03), Wilson (FL-24), Speier (CA-14), Schiff (CA-28), Deutch (FL-21), R. Scott (VA-03), Pocan (WI-02), Rangel (NY-13), Yarmuth (KY-03), Nadler (NY-10), Lee (CA-13), Pallone (NJ-06), Grijalva (AZ-03), Lowey (NY-17), Moore (WI-04), Levin (MI-09), Gutierrez (IL-04), Edwards (MD-04), Schakowsky (IL-09), Brownley (CA-26), Esty (CT-05), Kilmer (WA-08), Van Hollen (MD-08), Wasserman-Schultz (FL-23), Maloney (NY-18), Takano (CA-41), Titus (NV-01), Garamendi (CA-03), Pingree (ME-01), Pelosi (CA-12), Kuster (NH-02), Courtney (CT-02), Blumenauer (OR-03), Kaptur (OH-09), Meng (NY-06), Honda (CA-17), Fudge (OH-11), Brownley (CA-26), Lujan (NM-03), Fattah (PA-02), Lewis (GA-05), G. Green (TX-29), Tonko (NH-20).
See below for more information on the Healthy Families Act.
FACT SHEET: The Healthy Families Act
Today, 43 million private-sector workers do not have access to paid sick days. That forces many Americans to make the difficult choice of losing a day’s pay – and in some cases losing their job – or showing up to work sick and potentially spreading an illness to others. Even when workers have personal sick days, those might not cover the times when a child is ill and needs to stay home from school. That forces many parents to make the impossible choice of caring for their family or risking their livelihood.
The Healthy Families Act would allow workers to earn up to seven paid sick days a year to care for a family member and to address personal medical needs. This legislation will help workers and increase economic security, while taking an important step toward making sure our economy works for all families, not just the wealthiest few.
The Act will help families care for their loved ones and themselves.
Access to paid sick days will help protect public health.
Expanding access to paid sick days will help families, businesses, and the economy.
The Healthy Families Act provides important protections for workers and public health in a way that works for employers.