STATEMENT: CAP’s Shilpa Phadke Praises the City of Austin’s Passage of Paid Sick Days

Washington, D.C. — Last night, the Austin City Council passed a paid sick days ordinance 9-2, making Austin the first city in the south to allow all workers the ability to earn sick time. The ordinance, which takes effect on October 1, allows people to earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked to use for themselves or to care for a family member, including anyone who is seen as the equivalent of a family member. The policy applies to full-time, part-time, and temporary workers.

Shilpa Phadke, Vice President of the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:

The passage of paid sick leave by the Austin City Council is a major victory for all of Austin’s working families and represents critical progress in the fight to expand paid sick leave to more workers. Virtually all workers will at some point in their working years need time away from work to tend to a sick child, an ailing loved one, or a personal illness. By guaranteeing workers the right to earn paid sick leave, this bill will provide much-needed relief to more than 223,000 working Austinites who did not previously have access to earned sick days. It will ensure that workers can care for their families without putting their economic well-being at risk and will help businesses retain talented workers and increase productivity.

While much work remains, especially at the federal level, Austin’s win for working families today will serve to inspire more states to follow suit and deliver certainty, fairness, and economic well-being to millions more. It is wonderful to see this type of progress in the South, particularly because this policy covers chosen family.

Read: “Paid Sick Days and Paid Family and Medical Leave Are Not Job Killers” by Danielle Corley, Sunny Frothingham, and Kate Bahn

Read: People Need Paid Leave Policies That Cover Chosen Family” by Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Laura E. Durso, Frank J. Bewkes, and Eliza Schultz

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sally Tucker at 202-481-8103 or sstucker@americanprogress.org.