According to a "recent report" by the Center for Economic Policy and Research, the United States is the only industrial nation that does not guarantee paid sick leave for workers suffering from either short-term or long-term illnesses. This shocking finding means that forty million Americans – 40% of private-sector workers and more than 80% of low-wage workers — do not get paid sick days to care for their own health or that of a loved one. Not only does this injustice force caregivers to choose between their work lives and their family's well-being – it also poses a threat to public health. The same study revealed that adults without paid sick days are more likely than their counterparts with paid sick days to report going to work with a contagious illness (like the flu or a viral infection), risking infecting others.

Paid sick days would benefit the 66 million American adults who are unpaid caregivers for family members or friends, allowing them to manage both their caregiving responsibilities and the jobs they need to support their families. Furthermore, it would also save employers money. The cost of replacing workers - including advertising positions, interviewing, and training replacements - are in many cases greater than the cost of granting paid sick time in order to keep existing workers.

In 2009, Connecticut Representative Rosa DeLauro introduced The Healthy Families Act - a measure that would require employers with 15 or more workers to grant their employees up to seven paid sick days a year to care for a child, a parent, a spouse or someone else close who became ill. A coalition of approximately 150 women's, civil rights, health, faith-based, and labor organizations (including the AFL-CIO, American Civil Liberties Union, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Economic Policy Institute, Families USA and many others) has since formed to support the bill's passage. However, corporate lobbyists have taken great strides to block the legislation, causing the Healthy Families Initiative to languish in committee for the past three years.

We need your help to pressure our elected Representatives to salvage this crucial bill! In order to strengthen jobs and the economy, protect public health and give working families a helping hand - support the passage of paid sick days for all!

to comment