Paid Sick Leave - Voto Latino


Paid Sick Leave

All workers need paid time off when they get sick.

While paid sick leave has always been a necessity in the US it has never been more evident than right now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sick leave is time employees can take off of work in case of illness or safety concerns, without losing any wages. This is imperative because without this guarantee people will continue to go to work despite being sick, and not only is this bad for the individual, it is bad for public health and the overall safety of our communities.

It is not federally mandated that employers offer paid sick leave for their employees, despite a growing demand for it. Currently, in the US there are only a handful of states that require paid sick leave and even that is sometimes only restricted to certain cities in these states. Without paid sick leave, workers have to make an impossible choice between feeding themselves and their families or taking care of their own health. People of color are especially susceptible to this dilemma with poor and Latinx workers being the least likely to have access to paid sick days. Combined with the fact that nearly a quarter of Latinxs work in the service industry where they have a high level of interaction with the general public, it becomes clear that this is not just an issue of paid time off but an issue of public health.

This problem needs to be addressed and not just when we are in times of crisis. We must lean on our local and federal government to pass legislation providing paid sick leave for all workers now. It is time that the US shows that it truly values people as human beings first and workers second.


Current Policy on Sick Leave

Currently, there are no federal legal requirements for paid sick leave. For companies subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Act does require unpaid sick leave. FMLA provides for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain medical situations for either the employee or a member of the employee’s immediate family. In many instances paid leave may be substituted for unpaid FMLA leave.  The Department of Labor has more information available at this link.

Support Paid Sick Leave Quick Facts

Public demand and legislative victories have inspired employers and lawmakers to better understand and adopt paid sick days policies. An estimated 46 million private sector workers are now covered by paid sick days laws. And since 2015, the period in which most paid sick days laws have taken effect, national access to paid sick days has increased by 12 percentage points. Follow the Paid Sick Days organization for more information like fact sheets and research.

Text "SICK" to 731-79