Who needs paid sick leave?
Every. Single. Worker.
The coronavirus pandemic has made it painfully obvious: every worker should have paid sick leave. This widespread employment benefit takes the stress off workers. It is employers saying they understand: sometimes you need to stay home to care for yourself or a family member.
In twelve states (not Wisconsin) paid sick leave is state law — covering most businesses and employers. Nearly all fulltime workers in those states have access to this stress-reducing, life affirming benefit.
Only 27% of Wisconsin workers have access to any form of employment-protected leave, paid or unpaid. And too many wage earners are simply in no position to stay home and lose their paycheck– or their job. So, they go to work. Sick or not.
“In normal times, this situation is callous and wrong-headed, because workers are forced to choose between going to work when they or their children are sick, or staying home and risk losing their jobs. But in times of a pandemic, this situation is absolutely devastating.” – Linda Garcia Barnard, Wisconsin Examiner, March 23, 2020
The Wisconsin Legislature has several bills sitting around that address the topic of paid sick leave. One bill, presented by Rep. Sondy Pope (D-Mt. Horeb) and Rep. Lisa Subeck (D-Madison), has never gotten a public hearing in committee. “Had we passed this bill when we first introduced it, Wisconsin would be covered,” says Pope. “As it is, we’ve left people hanging out to dry.”
For most Wisconsin workers, “if they have to miss work, they do not get paid, and that means they cannot pay their bills. It can have devastating consequences,” said Rep. Lisa Subeck.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act signed by the President on March 18, 2020, provides some temporary and limited paid sick and emergency family leave. But the provisions expire at the end of 2020 and are only for COVID-19 illness.
This only calls attention to the deeply rooted but fixable problems underlying economic insecurity. Bread winners should be able to take care of their health AND bring home the bacon. No one should have to choose.
For more visit:
- Wisconsin Examiner Paid Sick Leave Now!
- Assembly Bill 666 (2019) establishing a paid family & medical leave benefit
Contact your state assembly representative.
Tell them to Get Back to Work!
Debate & Pass AB 666 Family Leave Benefit Act!