Washington, D.C. — Today, the Los Angeles City Council advanced a proposal that would require Los Angeles employers to offer at least six days of paid sick leave to employees, double the number of days mandated by state law. Shilpa Phadke, Senior Director of the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:
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. Although the need for time away from work is nearly universal, access to paid sick leave is not: Nationally, nearly 40 percent of private-sector workers lack even one paid sick day. Part-time workers and low-income workers—who are disproportionately women of color—are even less likely to have access.
Today’s vote by the Los Angeles City Council to strengthen current state protections through commonsense workplace standards is an important step in the right direction and a win for both local workers and businesses. However, all workers, regardless of where they live and work, deserve the security that comes with knowing that they won’t lose their job or miss a paycheck should they or a loved one become ill. We need Congress to act to ensure that all workers have the ability to earn paid leave.
The United States is one of the only developed countries that does not guarantee paid sick leave. Across the country, states and municipalities are recognizing the benefits of paid leave, not just for workers but also for businesses. In recent years, states including California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Vermont, as well as New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., among other cities, have adopted measures that guarantee workers the right to earn paid sick days.
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