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Paid Sick Days - Essential for public health and family security.

True or false: Nearly half of full-time workers lack sick days.

(Okay, take a moment to guess before you read the answer... it's... True).

Can you believe it? Nearly half (48%)1 of private-sector workers—and nearly 80% of low-wage workers2—do not have paid sick days to care for their own health. Nearly 100 million workers don’t have paid sick days which allow them to care for a sick child.3 And a whopping 86% of food and public accommodation workers are denied even a single paid sick day.4

This means that people are often forced to choose between working sick and losing pay--or even their jobs.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends staying home when we’re sick with common illnesses like the flu, and keeping sick children out of school5. Workers without paid sick days don’t have that option, and we all risk getting sick.

Over 145 countries have recognized the problem, and have paid sick leave6. The U.S. isn’t one of those countries.

That's why is working to build awareness that everyone needs the ability to earn paid sick days.

Want to learn more about our work? Email Katie Bethell at


1Access to and Use of Paid Sick Leave Among Low-Income Families With Children, The Urban Institute

22006 National Compensation Survey, US Bureau of Labor and Statistics

3, 4 Institute for Women’s Policy Research

5Influenza Symptoms, Protection, and What to Do If You Get Sick, Center for Disease Control

6 The Work, Family, and Equity Index, Institute for Health and Social Policy and the Project on Global Working Families