STATEMENT: CAP’s Jocelyn Frye on Congressional Proposal to Strengthen Paid Sick Leave Requirements

Washington, D.C. — Today, Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) reintroduced the Healthy Families Act, which would guarantee the right to earn up to at least seven days of paid sick leave per year for American workers. Jocelyn Frye, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement in response:

Work and family responsibilities should not be conflicting interests, yet too many American workers are forced  into the impossible decision of choosing between caring for a sick loved one and the security of a paycheck. This problem is especially burdensome for women, who remain the primary caregivers in American homes and are increasingly the primary breadwinners. Moreover, legislation such as the Healthy Families Act can play a critical role in expanding economic security to more families of color, who are currently less likely to have access to paid sick leave.

The American family is changing, and it’s time workplace policy does too. Congress must act to ensure passage of the Healthy Families Act to make paid sick leave a reality for all working Americans. Already, similar legislation has met with success in states such as Connecticut, California, and Massachusetts, but family stability shouldn’t be contingent on where one lives. Guaranteeing access to paid sick leave for Americans in every ZIP code is essential to safeguarding the foundation of the American economy: working families and the middle class.

More than 40 million workers in the United States lack access to paid leave if they or a family member get sick. The Healthy Families Act would create a national standard by allowing workers to earn sick leave regardless of where they live.

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For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Chelsea Kiene at or 202.478.5328.

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