Paid Sick Days - Resources

Paid Sick Days for employees and their loved ones is such a common sense idea that 60% of Americans think it is already law. But it's not. Only half of employers provide sick leave to their employees and still fewer allow it to be used to care for a sick child.

Recent State Success

States are stepping up to the plate to protect workers as they care for sick family members.  Maine enacted the Family Care Act in 2005 with help from the Maine Women's Lobby.  The new law requires employers with 25 or more employees and who provide sick days to allow employees to use them to care for a sick dependent.  Similar laws have been enacted in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Washington and Wisconsin.

Massachusetts legislative leaders have sponsored SB 1130 and HB 3788 which would require a minimum of 7 paid sick days per year for all workers.

Talking Points

  • 68% of working-class families have two weeks or less of combined vacation and sick leave.  70% of parents face losing income or even losing jobs every time they leave work to care for a sick child.
  • Paid sick leave is good for workers and it is good business.  Sick leave helps workers regain their health, return to full productivity quicker, and avoid making other workers sick.  This reduces employers' overall absence expense.
  • Children get well faster when parents can stay home to care for them.  This is crucial because most child care centers don't allow children to attend when they are sick.  Those that do allow sick children risk spreading contagions to other children and their families.

Legislative Models

Research and Reports