Sign on letter for Paid Sick Days for Public Health Emergencies and Personal Family Care Act
Dear Members of Congress,

We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to co-sponsor and advocate for swift passage of the Paid Sick Days for Public Health Emergencies and Personal and Family Care Act (S. 3415/H.R. 6150).

The spread of COVID-19 has highlighted the economic consequences faced by working people when they lack access to paid sick days. In the United States, over 32 million workers lack access to paid sick days, and for low-income workers it’s even worse. While 93 percent of the highest-wage workers have access to paid sick days, only 30 percent of the lowest wage workers do. Workers in jobs that require frequent contact with the public, including those in food preparation and service, personal home care, and child care are among the least likely to have paid sick days and the most likely to be unable to afford to take unpaid time away from work.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 self-quarantine for 14 days. But for people without access to paid sick days, this is a near impossibility. The New York Times Editorial Board acknowledged this, writing “We Are Ignoring One Obvious Way to Fight the Coronavirus” (https://nyti.ms/2IBy3LS).

Building off of the Healthy Families Act, the Public Health Emergencies and Personal and Family Care Act ensures that working people have access to fourteen days of paid sick leave for use during the COVID-19 outbreak or any future public health emergency. This includes time for quarantine for those who have been exposed, for treatment and isolation for those who contract the virus, and for taking care of an ill loved one. It also covers lost income in the event of workplace or school closings.

This bill also acknowledges that people need time off from work when there isn’t a public health emergency, and provides up to seven paid sick and safe days annually to recover from short-term illnesses, access preventive care, care for a sick loved one, or seek assistance related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

We urge all members of Congress to co-sponsor this bill and advocate for its swift passage. Our society is only as healthy as its most vulnerable members. We all have a stake in ensuring paid sick days for public health emergencies and for personal and family care.
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