With 57 million private sector workers in this country without a single paid sick day, and 94 million without a paid sick day they can use to care for a sick child, the National Partnership for Women & Families is holding the first-ever online rally for paid sick days beginning this Friday, February 29. It is in support of the Healthy Families Act, federal legislation to guarantee workers up to seven paid sick days a year to recover from illness or care for a sick family member.
“Right now, no federal or state law ensures that workers will have the paid sick days they need,” said National Partnership for Women & Families President Debra L. Ness. “That means people are forced to go to work sick and send children to school or daycare sick or risk losing a paycheck or even their job. That’s not compassionate, it’s not family friendly and it’s not right. That’s why we’re asking people to take a moment on Friday or afterward to help give all workers paid sick days. They can learn more and urge Congress to support the Healthy Families Act at www.everyonegetssick.org.”
Studies show that if workers had just seven paid sick days a year, our nation’s economy would experience a net savings of $8.1 billion because healthy workers are productive workers, and workers who are forced to be on the job when they are sick recover more slowly and can spread disease to their co-workers.
“The problem is especially serious for workers in low-wage jobs,” Ness added. “Workers in health care, food preparation and child care disproportionately lack the protection of paid sick days. When they are forced to report to work sick, they may spread infections to sick and elderly patients, restaurant and cafeteria patrons, babies and toddlers in daycare centers. Moreover, workers without paid sick days miss the chance to get mammograms and prostate exams, and take their kids for immunizations and check-ups prevention that can save health care dollars down the road. Everyone gets sick. Everyone needs time to get better.”
NOTE: A preview of the online rally is available at: www.nationalpartnership.org/rally-preview