Washington, D.C. — Today, New York state filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration challenging its regulations for emergency paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act as harmful to workers and public health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawsuit argues that the U.S. Department of Labor’s final rule unlawfully narrows workers’ rights—counter to Congress’ intent—by using overly broad exclusions of employees’ eligibility for these critical paid leave protections. Shilpa Phadke, vice president of the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
President Donald Trump has promised for years that he supports paid leave, but when Congress gives him the opportunity to make that promise real, the administration went out of its way to turn its back on millions of American workers in the midst of a global pandemic.
Instead of fighting to protect workers and their families, the U.S. Department of Labor’s final rule expansively interprets exemptions that will unfairly exclude millions of workers from critical paid leave protections. All workers need paid sick days and paid leave to have paid time away from work to recover, self-quarantine, or provide care. This lawsuit seeks to remedy another Trump administration failure to protect the health of workers, families, and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic—an essential goal for states to reopen their economies.
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