STATEMENT OF KRISTIN ROWE-FINKBEINER, Executive Director and CEO, MomsRising, On Oregon's Paid Sick Days Law
June 15, 2015
Moms Celebrate Passage of Oregon Paid Sick Days Legislation
“When Oregon Governor Kate Brown signs Senate Bill 454-B into law, the state will become the fourth in the nation to have a paid sick days law. MomsRising thanks Family Forward Oregon and the Everybody Benefits Coalition for their tremendous leadership in Oregon. MomsRising members were proud to be part of this effort and have worked tirelessly all across Oregon to push for passage of paid sick days over the past weeks, months, and years – sending tens of thousands of letters to Oregon legislators, sharing their stories highlighting the need for paid sick days, and making calls and visits to their legislators’ offices. All that work has paid off!
“The people of Oregon know that paid sick days are good for families, good for business, and good for public health. MomsRising is proud to have been a part of the aptly named Everybody Benefits Coalition led by Family Forward Oregon that worked for three years to ensure that parents in Oregon who work for pay are able to take time off to take care of their own health or that of a family member.
“While we celebrate this victory in Oregon, though, we are reminded that in other states, many workers still have to choose between a paycheck and their health. Your ability to take a day off to care for a sick child or recover from your own illness or injury should not depend on your zip code. No parent should ever be forced to make the impossible choice between caring for a sick or losing a day’s pay or even a job.
“"Paid sick days are win-win-win. Studies show that access to paid sick days policies improve public health, family economic security, and the economy. Paid sick days keep people in the jobs they desperately need and save employers money because offering earned paid sick days is much less expensive than the cost of replacing workers. In fact, our national economy also suffers when workers go to work sick; costing us roughly $160 billion a year in lost productivity.
“So, as we celebrate this victory in Oregon, we cannot lose sight of the fact that there are still millions of working families across the country who don’t have access to paid sick days. Currently, 43 million workers and over half of all mothers cannot earn a single paid sick day. We need national legislation like the Healthy Families Act, so that every worker has the ability to earn paid sick days. Momentum is growing. A 2015 poll found that 88 percent of voters want all workers to be able to earn paid sick days. It’s time to make that a reality.”