San Francisco, Seattle , Washington, D.C., and Connecticut have paid sick days laws in place.
Wage and job loss due to illness are a major concern for struggling families without paid sick days. Nearly 1 in 4 workers report that they have lost a job or were threatened with job loss for taking time off due to personal illness or to care for a sick child or relative.
Lack of paid sick days is a threat to public health. During the 2009 flu outbreak, workplaces where employees did not have paid sick days suffered from the outbreak longer.
Workers in child care centers and nursing homes overwhelmingly lack paid sick days, putting our most vulnerable populations at greater risk of contracting an illness from a sick employee.
Adults without paid sick days are 1.5 times more likely than adults with paid sick days to report going to work with a contagious illness like the flu or a viral infection – and risk infecting others.
Paid sick days promote productivity and save businesses money. If workers earned seven paid sick days a year, our national economy would experience a net savings of $160 billion a year due to increased productivity and reduced turnover.
Parents without paid sick days are five times more likely to seek emergency room care for their children or other relatives. These expensive emergency trips replace important routine medical appointments and preventive care, leading to higher health insurance costs for businesses and taxpayers.
By improving productivity and reducing turnover, paid sick days save businesses nearly $600 a year for each full-time worker with paid sick time.
Economists say job retention policies like paid sick days help reduce unemployment and strengthen the economy.
“I worked for an employer who didn’t provide earned sick leave. I was forced to go to work sick. Since I wasn’t able to stay at home and recuperate it took me a lot longer to get well. Unfortunately, my younger children would then get sick and my older daughters had to stay home from school so I could go to work. I couldn’t afford not to get paid. Not only did this affect my daughters’ school attendance, but it put me in a position that no responsible parent wants to ever be in.” --Latosha, Atlanta