Paid sick leave laws and local prosperity

Fact Sheet | January 2, 2014 | By Maggie Humphreys

Executive Summary

San Francisco adopted paid sick leave legislation in 2006, followed by Washington, DC, Connecticut, and Seattle. In 2013, Portland, OR, New York City, Jersey City, and SeaTac passed new laws entitling workers to paid sick leave and Washington, DC’s council expanded coverage. Protecting public health, assuring that sick children receive care and prompt medical attention, and rebuilding family economic security have motivated voters and policymakers to support Paid Sick Days.

Multiple studies of firms that voluntarily provide paid leave have also found that sick leave benefits businesses through higher morale and productivity and lower rates of turnover.1 Nevertheless, some have argued that requiring employers to provide sick leave could hurt economic and job growth.

Studies of sick leave laws to date show that covered economies are equaling or out-performing nearby communities; the laws have had small to no impact on business costs, hiring, or location decisions; and that workers are benefiting with more access to paid leave and better ability to care for their own and their families’ health needs.

Washington Paid Sick & Safe Leave Proposal

  • Allows employees to earn 5 to 9 days of paid sick and safe leave, depending on employer size
  • Modeled after Seattle’s succesful paid sick days law
  • Benefits 1 million Washington workers – or one-third of the state’s workforce – who have no access to paid sick leave

 


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