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Need a quick primer on paid sick days? Let us break it down for you.
More than four in ten private-sector workers — and more than eighty percent of low-wage workers — do not have paid sick days to care for their own health. Forty million workers have no access to paid sick days at all and another 4.2 million haven't been on the job long enough to be eligible for paid sick days.
Adults without paid sick days are 1.5 times more likely than adults with paid sick days to report going to work with a contagious illness like the flu or a viral infection — and risk infecting others. For example, more than three in four food service and hotel workers (78%) don’t have a single paid sick day — and workers in child care centers and nursing homes overwhelmingly lack paid sick days. This threat to public health is clear!
More than a third (37%) of working women — more than 13 million — in businesses with 15 or more employees are not able to take a paid sick day when they or a family member are ill.
In establishments with 15 or more employees — the businesses that would be covered by the Healthy Families Act — nearly half (49%) of all Latino employees have no access to paid sick days.
Providing all workers access to paid sick days reduces the spread of flu in the workplace by nearly 6 percent. Allowing workers to stay at home with even one paid “flu day” (additional time people would take off when they have sick days and also are educated about the importance of staying home with a contagious illness) would allow them to recover and could reduce flu transmission by 25 percent, and two “flu days” could result in a nearly 40 percent decrease.
Paid sick days would save employers money by reducing turnover. The cost of replacing workers, including advertising positions, interviewing, and training replacements, are often greater than the cost of paid sick time to retain existing workers.
If workers were offered seven paid sick days a year, our national economy would experience a net savings of $160 billion a year due to increased productivity and reduced turnover.
Paid sick and safe days would protect the paychecks and jobs of victims of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault when they need it most: when they need time off to seek assistance.
66 million American adults are unpaid caregivers for family members or friends — and the number is growing. Paid sick days would help working family caregivers to manage both their caregiving responsibilities and the jobs they need to support their families.
Three-quarters of adults support a law that allows workers to earn a minimum number of paid sick days — and nine in ten favor a specific proposal providing up to 7 paid sick days per year, according to a recent study by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.