Workers’ Rights to Paid Sick Days

Workers in San Francisco, the District of Columbia, and Milwaukee have a right to paid sick days. In a commentary for Women’s eNews, Linda Meric explains why the US Congress should pass the Healthy Families Act, making it easier for workers across the country to take time off to recover from illness or help a sick family member. Currently, many workers cannot realistically take time off for these purposes, and women especially face hardship:

While this is an issue for all workers, the reality is that women, or “wives,” have historically been tasked with the family care-giving responsibilities–and most families do not have a “wife” at home these days. … For working women without paid sick days, occasionally staying home when a child is ill could mean the loss of a day’s pay, or worse, the loss of a job.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill into law if it passes. As he himself said last summer, “nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their job and caring for a sick child or an ailing parent.” Sadly, women face that choice more often than men do. By making it easier for women to stay in the work force, we will not only help them realize their career goals, we will help keep our economy stable.


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