April 27, 2015 — Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Thursday urged Congress to include paid sick leave in its final budget deal, The Hill reports.
Murray and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) in February introduced the Healthy Families Act (S 497, HR 932) (Wheeler, The Hill, 4/23). The legislation would allow workers at companies with at least 15 employees to earn up to seven paid sick days annually. Employees would accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work, up to 56 hours. They could then use the leave when they or a family member are sick, to receive preventive care or to address an issue related to domestic violence (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/15).
In March, 61 senators voted to include the measure as an amendment to the Senate's GOP budget proposal. However, Murray has noted that the votes are nonbinding.
Murray Reaffirms Paid Leave Efforts
On Thursday, Murray during a phone call organized by the National Partnership for Women & Families affirmed her efforts to include the measure in Congress' final budget and pass the Health Families Act. According to The Hill, the National Partnership is spearheading a coalition that also on Thursday submitted a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to pass the paid leave legislation.
The National Partnership in a statement said, "Paid sick days laws are or will soon be in place in 21 places across the country and 81 percent of voters say they want lawmakers to consider new laws like paid sick days," adding, "It is past time for action at the federal level" (The Hill, 4/23).