Something amazing is happening across the country.
People are coming together across cities, states and even at the national level to stand up for a basic workplace protection – the right to earn paid sick time.
Across the country people are taking a stand. They’re saying that when someone is sick, or has a family member who is ill, they deserve to be able to stay home and heal and care for their loved their ones.
And it is working.
Since 2006, six cities - San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C., Portland (Oregon), New York City and Jersey City - (and one state - Connecticut!) have passed ordinances guaranteeing a basic level of sick leave protection for people who work within their jurisdiction. This is good news for everyone. It means that people can take care of a sick child without worrying that they will lose their job. It means that people can stay home and heal when they are sick, instead of working while miserable and risking the spread of illness to their coworkers and the people they serve.
2013 was a historic year for earned sick leave, three of the six cities - Portland, New York City, and Jersey City - were added just last year. And many more cities and states are posed to pass paid sick days in 2014. There are active paid sick day campaigns in Newark, Philadelphia, Olympia, Eugene, and Tacoma and state wide campaigns in Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York State, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont and Washington state.
We are even hoping to bring paid sick days to the entire nation - with the Healthy Families Act.
Here’s to the New Year. May it be healthy and humane and may the arc of the moral universe continue to bend toward justice.