Press Statement
Chicago Voters Issue “Clear Demand” for Paid Sick Days, Local Lawmakers Should Respond Quickly

“Chicago voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum in support of paid sick days today, positioning the city for a major step forward that will help workers, families, businesses and the city’s economy. Voters issued a clear demand for a citywide standard to Chicago lawmakers and added to the tremendous momentum around paid sick days we have seen already this year. The City Council and mayor should now act quickly to honor the will of the people by approving a measure that will guarantee all workers in the city the right to earn paid sick days.

More than 460,000 workers in Chicago – and more than 43 million workers nationwide – cannot earn paid sick days. By approving a citywide standard, Chicago would join the 20 other jurisdictions that have or will soon have paid sick days laws in place.* Workers, businesses and lawmakers across the country support the common sense policy. The president and members of Congress support it and the just-reintroduced federal proposal, the Healthy Families Act. And all the research and evidence from existing laws and employer policies shows paid sick days are good for families, businesses and economies.

The National Partnership congratulates the Earned Sick Time Chicago Coalition for leading the charge for paid sick days in the city and the progress it helped secure today. This step forward is a direct result of its tireless efforts to ensure no worker in the city has to choose between their health or family and their jobs when illness strikes. We look forward to future progress in Chicago and other cities and states across the country. Local and state laws are truly paving the way for the national standard the nation needs.”

The National Partnership convenes a broad and diverse coalition that supports the Healthy Families Act. More information can be found at

*Paid sick days laws are or will soon be in place in 20 jurisdictions across the country. Three states: Connecticut (enacted 2011, effective 2012), California (enacted 2014, effective 2015) and Massachusetts (enacted 2014, effective 2015). And 17 cities: San Francisco (enacted 2006, effective 2007) and Oakland (enacted 2014, effective 2015), Calif.; Washington, D.C. (enacted and effective 2008 and expanded 2014); Seattle (enacted 2011, effective 2012) and Tacoma (enacted 2015, effective 2016), Wash.; Portland (enacted 2013, effective 2014) and Eugene (enacted 2014, effective 2015), Ore.; New York City (enacted 2013, expanded and effective 2014); East Orange, Irvington, Jersey City, Montclair, Newark, Paterson, Passaic and Trenton, N.J. (all enacted in 2013 and 2014, effective in 2014 or 2015); and Philadelphia, Pa. (enacted and effective 2015).

For more information, contact us:

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About the National Partnership for Women & Families

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family.

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