STATEMENT: CAP Senior Economist Heather Boushey on H1N1 and Paid Sick Leave

"The Obama administration’s public commitment to "the Healthy Families Act  and other proposals that advance workplace flexibility and protect the income and security of workers" is an important step forward for all working families.  We highlighted these important issues in The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything and were encouraged that the Administration was taking these issues seriously by the fruitful discussion we had with Vice President Biden and the Middle Class Task Force last week.

The Healthy Families Act will provide workers with up to seven job-protected paid sick days each year and help reduce the spread of infectious diseases like H1N1.  Last spring, as schools closed across America to reduce the spread of H1N1, many parents had to choose between sending their child to a child care center, letting their child stay home alone, or even sending them to the mall and losing a day’s pay-or potentially even their job-to stay home with their child. This is not a choice Americans should have to make. Yet today, since four in five families with children do not have a full-time, stay-at-home parent, workers must choose between their job and caring for their families.

The administration’s recognition of this dilemma and their support of the Healthy Families Act  demonstrates their commitment to  build a strong middle class and help  all workers and their families."

CAP Senior Economist Heather Boushey and CAP Senior Fellow Ann O’Leary are available for comment.

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