A bout of flu, car accident, or cancer diagnosis too often leads to a family economic crisis. Most workers have only limited paid leave to deal with their family health needs, and many have no leave at all.
That’s why EOI is leading the Washington Work and Family Coalition, which is committed to ensuring everyone has Paid Sick Days for preventive care or when a nasty virus hits, as well Family and Medical Leave Insurance for the handful of times in their careers when they need longer periods of time off – to welcome a new child, recover from surgery, or care for an aging parent. You can keep up with the WA Work and Family Coalition here!
Here are our priorities for this year:
Family and Medical Leave Insurance
In 2007, Washington approved FMLI to provide parents of newborn or newly adopted children up to 5 weeks of partly paid leave. FMLI as originally adopted was too skimpy. It also wasn’t funded and has been delayed until 2015.
Our new FMLI proposal:
- Up to 12 weeks to care for a new child or sick family member, and 12 weeks for the worker’s own serious health condition;
- Benefits of 2/3 weekly pay, up to $1,000/week;
- Premiums starting at 0.2% of worker’s pay, divided between employees and employers (about $1.00 per week for the average $50,000 earner.)
Paid Sick Days
Paid sick days prevent the spread of disease and keep everyone healthier by encouraging sick workers and kids to stay home – away from co-workers and schoolmates. Yet an estimated 1 million people working in Washington have no paid sick leave, including in restaurants, retail, and health care. WA can join San Francisco, Washington DC, Connecticut, and Seattle in passing paid sick days:
Our standards for paid sick days:
- Workers earn up to 5 to 9 days, depending on the number of employees in business;
- For health needs of worker or family member;
- “Safe leave” to deal with effects of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.