Washington, California and Nebraska push for paid sick leave laws

January 22, 2014 | Economic Opportunity Institute

psd fact sheet

Fact Sheet: Sick & Safe Days

Across the country, cities and states are working to ensure that every working family has access to paid sick days. In Washington, we’re working with small businesses, faith leaders, unions, doctors and moms to pass HB 1313 – a bill that would allow every worker in Washington to accrue paid sick leave.

But we need your help – email lawmakers and urge them to pass paid sick days on our action page. It only takes two minutes.

In California, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D) introduced legislation to expand San Francisco’s 2006 paid sick days law statewide.

If businesses are concerned about extra costs, the experience within their own state can put their fears to rest. After San Francisco’s ordinance was implemented, the city saw an increase in employment even while it fell in the five closest neighboring counties. The number of businesses, both large and small, also grew while falling in close by counties. Businesses themselves recognized that it came with little cost — a majority said understanding and implementing the new policy wasn’t difficult — and more than 70 percent said that it had either no impact or a positive impact on their profitability. In 2011, two-thirds of the city’s employers reported being supportive of the law, with a third saying they are “very supportive.” [ThinkProgress]

And it’s not just California. Seattle, Portland, OR, San Francisco, Washington, DC, New York City, Jersey City, and Connecticut have established paid sick leave laws. Paid sick days were approved by voters in Milwaukee but state lawmakers struck down the law by banning cities from passing paid leave. Workers in Tacoma, Newark, and even Nebraska are working to pass paid sick days.

On Thursday, a group of Nebraska state Senators introduced a package of legislation aimed at helping the state’s workers, including a measure that would create a paid family leave program…The legislative package also includes a raise of the state’s minimum wage, which currently rests at the federal floor of $7.25 an hour, to $9 over three years, a requirement that employers offer paid sick days to certain workers, and an increase in the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income families. Sen. Danielle Conrad (D), who introduced the paid sick leave, says that about 43 percent of the state’s workers lack access to paid time off for illnesses. [ThinkProgress]

Check out our resources and fact sheets to learn more about the business, economic and family-impacts of paid sick days.

Via Washington Work and Family Coalition

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