Healthy Families Act Would Boost the Health of Workers, Families, Businesses and Our Economy
March 15, 2017
Statement from Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director and CEO of MomsRising.org, a national online and on-the-ground organization of more than 1 million mothers and their families, on the re-introduction of the Healthy Families Act
“On behalf of more than one million MomsRising members across the country, we applaud U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro for re-introducing the Healthy Families Act today, which would boost working families, businesses, and the economy.
“At least 41 million private sector workers – including more than half of all working mothers and 80 percent of low-income workers – do not have any paid sick days they can use to care for themselves or their children when they get sick. This means that more than a third of the U.S. workforce often has to make an impossible choice between going to work sick – or sending a sick child to school – and staying home and losing an invaluable day’s pay. Lack of access to paid sick days is especially hard on people of color, particularly women of color – approximately half of Latina workers and more than a third of African American women currently cannot earn paid sick days.
"Together with raising the minimum wage, paid family & medical leave, and equal pay, paid sick days help close the wage gap between moms and non-moms, lift businesses and our economy, and promote family economic security for communities of color, Muslim, immigrant, and LGBTQ+ families who are disproportionately facing unjust and harmful actions from the Trump Administration.
“We’ve been heartened to see seven states, plus the District of Columbia and 31 cities and counties across the country take the lead on passing paid sick days laws in the past several years, but we need a national policy like the Healthy Families Act to ensure that all workers are able to earn sick days, regardless of where they live or who they work for. This bill would allow workers in companies with more than 15 employees to earn up to seven job-protected paid sick days a year, ensuring that many more working parents will have the necessary time to recover from an illness or care for a sick family member without worrying about their job and financial security.
“Paid sick days are a win-win for public health, family economic security, and for the economy as a whole. Earned sick days keep people in the jobs they need and save employers money by reducing turnover. In fact, when workers can’t take paid sick days, our economy suffers approximately $160 billion a year in lost productivity. Plus, for an average family without paid sick days, just 3.5 days of missed work is the equivalent to an entire month of groceries.
“The Healthy Families Act is critical for the health of our workers, our families, our businesses, and our economy. We urge members of Congress to co-sponsor and pass this commonsense legislation as soon as possible.”