Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) released the following statement today on Seattle's paid sick days law that goes into effect tomorrow.
"There are nearly 40 million American workers who currently do not have one day of paid sick leave--but thanks to Seattle that number will shrink just a little bit tomorrow. Workers there will have the ability to take care of themselves and their families if they are sick without having to worry about losing their jobs. It is in the best interests of our nation, but more importantly our families, to ensure that every American has access to paid sick days.
"Paid sick days are smart for businesses too. They help ensure that workers do not show up to work sick, known as "presenteeism,' which costs our economy $160 billion a year in lost productivity. And it is too often those living paycheck to paycheck who have to come into work sick. We must end the current system and ensure workers no longer have to choose between their health--or their families--and their paycheck."
DeLauro has long been a national leader in the fight to ensure that all employees have access to paid sick days. In May, she introduced the Rebuild America Act, which would give workers across the country access to paid sick days. She is also the author and chief sponsor of the Healthy Families Act, which, like Connecticut's 2011 ground-breaking law, would ensure every worker can take a paid day off when they or a family member is sick. DeLauro first introduced the bill in 2004 and has continued to champion for it ever since. The legislation would enable workers to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of seven days worth of paid leave.
At the moment, nearly four in ten U.S. workers lack even a single paid sick day. Over 140 other nations, including 19 or the top 20 most economically competitive in the world, guarantee some form of paid sick days to workers. The U.S. is the lone exception.