All About The Healthy Families Act
What is the Healthy Families Act (HFA)?
- Currently, no state or federal law guarantees paid sick days—although paid sick days campaigns in over a dozen states across the country are mobilizing in support of this basic workplace standard.
- The federal Healthy Families Act (S 1152/HR 2460) would allow workers to earn up to seven paid sick days a year to recover from short-term illness, care for a sick family member, attend medical appointments, or seek assistance for a domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault issue.
Why is the Healthy Families Act so important?
- Nearly half (48%) of private sector workers don't have a single paid sick day to care for themselves when they are ill.
- Those in need (low-wage workers) are the least likely to have access to paid sick days.
- Workers in the professions with the most contact with the public are the least likely to access paid sick days. This includes food service, hotel, child care, and nursing home workers.
- When people have no choice other than to go to work sick, they risk infecting others.
- Research shows that children get better faster when a parent cares for them. Yet, 94 million Americans do not have a single paid sick day to use to care for a sick child.
The Centers for Disease Control, a government agency, asks us to stay home when we're sick. Yet, too many Americans don't have the option to follow their advice.
Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault need paid time off to tend to injuries or seek assistance. No one should lose their job or wages because they are a victim of rape or intimate partner violence.
Nearly 9/10 voters supports paid sick days as a basic labor standard. It's common sense!
The outbreak of H1N1 has necessitated an even more urgent need for the HFA!
• The information coming directly from the CDC tells us that one of the top three ways to avoid getting the H1N1 flu virus is to stay home when sick--until 24 hours after a fever has subsided. Workers need paid sick days to help prevent the spread of H1N1.
• The CDC also tells us that young children and people over the age of 65 are especially vulnerable to serious complications from H1N1. Caregivers of children and the elderly need access to paid sick days to provide care to their loved ones without the risk of losing their wages or their jobs.
Check out these links to media regarding paid sick days and H1N1:
- Click here to access Steven Greenhouse's awesome article from the NY Times that explains why a lack paid sick days may worsen the H1N1 pandemic
- Click here to watch a cool webcast of the Healthy Families Act hearing in the US Senate, concerning the H1N1 outbreak
- Click here to access the CDC's informational page about the H1N1 flu virus.
Your voice matters. Take action!
- Click here to sign a petition in support of the Healthy Families Act!
- The NY Times recently revealed that Wal-Mart employees are penalized for missing work for health reasons. Click here to take action against Wal-Mart for their unfair worker illness policies.