Paid Sick Days as Important for Back to School as Pencils, Pens, Notebooks and Backpacks
September 20, 2011
MomsRising members and other activists from the Massachusetts Paid Leave Coalition deliver backpacks to remind lawmakers to support Paid Sick Days Act (H. 1398/S. 930)
Moms, dads, union members and other activists were handing out backpacks to Massachusetts legislators today to drive home the message that paid sick days are as important during the school season as pencils, pens and…yes, backpacks. The backpacks were attached to messages from people across the Commonwealth who support paid sick days legislation. The activists are all members of the Massachusetts Paid Leave Coalition, which is urging lawmakers to pass An Act to Establish Paid Sick Days (H. 1398/S. 930).
"When kids are back in school, they sometimes bring home unwelcome surprises in the form of a cold or the flu,” said MomsRising Executive Director Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. “Right now, almost one million Massachusetts workers don’t have even a single paid sick day, and many more can’t use the sick leave they do have to care for a sick child. When kids can’t stay home from school and when employees go to work sick, they spread germs, and that’s not good for schools, businesses or the public health. ” MomsRising is an online and on-the-ground grassroots organization of more than one million members fighting for families’ economic security.
An Act to Establish Paid Sick Days (H. 1398/S. 930) would allow part-time and full-time workers to accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to seven paid sick days a year. Workers would be able to use paid sick days for diagnosis or treatment of their own or a family member’s health condition and for preventive care. Victims of domestic violence would also be able to use paid sick days to address their medical, psychological and legal needs.
“We can promote the public health throughout our Commonwealth, and ensure our children arrive at school healthy and ready to learn by adopting the Paid Sick Days Act, “said Elizabeth Toulan, Coordinator of the Massachusetts Paid Leave Coalition.
MomsRising helped to collect the messages delivered today through e-outreaches to Massachusetts members. Those messages include:
Moms are valuable in the workforce, and essential to growing kids. Business can help moms excel in both worlds.
—Teresa, East Boston, MA
Without my paid sick days, I would have lost my job several years ago, and become homeless! Would YOU want to be without them? Thanks so much!!!
—Trelawney, Wakefield, MA
As a nurse caring for special needs children, I would like to remind you that children who arrive at school sick can pass on infections to medically fragile children who attend school. An infection that would be no big deal to a typical child can be life threatening to a special needs child. So, when children are sent sick to school because the parent cannot stay home from work to care for them, this can be life threatening to the medically fragile children in that school.
—Janet, Methuen, MA