As Our Hearts Break for All Those Suffering in the Pandemic, We Note that Today Is Historic -- the First Day with National Paid Sick Days and Paid Leave In America
“The circumstances are devastating and the program far, far from adequate but, nonetheless, this is a landmark day in the United States – today marks the first ever in which we have limited, nationwide paid sick days and paid leave in place for working families. The recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act included 14 days of paid emergency sick leave to use during public health emergencies, including for part-time employees; and three months of paid emergency leave throughout the coronavirus crisis. All that takes effect today.
“While this is a step forward, the paid sick days and paid leave provisions Congress put in place for the coronavirus pandemic must be expanded immediately. America’s moms are urging Congress to remove the large, dangerous carve outs that leave employees at companies with more than 500 people out of coverage for paid sick days; to expand paid leave to include those who need leave for their own serious medical issue or for a loved one with a serious medical issue; and, most of all, to make these provisions permanent. Congress can do this by including the Providing Americans Insured Days of Leave (PAID Leave) Act in the next coronavirus relief package. Everyone needs access to these crucial policies during the pandemic and the need for leave won’t end once the pandemic is over.”
-- Statement of Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director and CEO, MomsRising
“This pandemic is a powerful, painful reminder that paid leave and paid sick days are an absolutely necessary and critical tool for protecting the physical and financial health of our families and our economy.
“We have said for years that working people in this country need paid sick days and paid family and medical leave in normal times as well as during emergencies. This has long been a compelling priority for our country’s moms, and it should be for lawmakers too. We need more than lip service. We need Congress to include the PAID Leave Act in the next relief package, so nobody will have to choose between earning a paycheck and taking time off from work to recuperate from illness or stay home with a sick child.
“These bills would be a boon for families, our economy and our public health. We need them now more than ever.”
-- Statement of Ruth Martin, senior vice president and chief workplace justice officer, MomsRising