Washington, DC – Following the growing number of COVID-19 cases across the country, the Paid Leave for All campaign released the following statement urging Congress to pass the Paid Sick Days for Public Health Emergencies and Personal Care Act and comprehensive paid family and medical leave:
“The strength of our nation’s health and economy depends on the government’s willingness to protect the people most vulnerable to the impact of this disease—workers without paid sick time. As the number of cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, we must ensure that workers across the country have access to paid sick days AND paid family and medical leave. During a public health outbreak of this magnitude, workers’ access to both of these important policies are instrumental to saving lives and stopping the spread of disease.
The simple fact is: our nation is stronger when all employees have time to heal and time to care for sick family members. To make this happen, workers need to have access to paid sick days so they have wages and a job to come back to. This benefits businesses, communities, and the economy as a whole.
Some people will experience more serious health impacts from the virus that require more time away from work and continuing treatment from a health provider. Those workers will need job-protected paid leave to take the necessary time to heal from potential complications related to the virus, including hospitalization. People also need job-protected paid leave to take the time to care for family members who contract the disease or are forced to stay home due to school closures or other reasons.
Without paid time to care for themselves or a loved one, many people will go to work while contagious with COVID-19. This is a recipe for disaster for all of us. Congress must immediately pass both Paid Sick Days for Public Health Emergencies and Personal Care Act and comprehensive paid family and medical leave so workers do not have to risk their lives for fear of losing their jobs or wages.”