For the 6 million California workers who don't earn paid sick days, getting sick forces them to choose between getting better or losing pay, or between keeping a job and infecting others.
AB 1000 (Ma), the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act, would guarantee all California workers the right to paid sick days for personal illness, to care for a sick family member, or to recover from domestic violence or sexual assault-without fear of losing their jobs.
Three reasons to fight for paid sick days for all:
#1 Paid sick leave is often denied to those who need it most.
Workers in low-wage jobs are the least likely to have paid sick days. In California 70% of workers in the accommodation and food service industries do not have paid sick days.
# 2 Every mother should have the opportunity to take care of their sick children.
Almost 50% of working mothers report the need to miss work to care for a sick child and almost half of these mothers have no sick days to use to care for a sick family member.
# 3 Disparities in paid sick leave contribute to racial and ethnic health inequities.
The majority of California's Latino workers (56%) do not have paid sick days, compared to 38% of White workers.
The right to paid sick days is more than an employment benefit; it is, fundamentally, a strategy to protect the health of all Californians. When workers can take needed time off without the loss of pay or fear of losing a job, the result is speedier recoveries for workers and their families, increased opportunities for preventive care, decreased risk of the outbreak of disease, and ultimately, reduced health-care spending.
AB 1000 is being voted on by the Assembly Labor Committee on April 22, 2009. Add your name to the Paid Sick Days for Good Health Campaign and send in a letter of support by going to CPEHN's Paid Sick Days page today!
(To make sure the members of the Labor Committee see your name or organization listed as a supporter before their vote, make sure to get your letter in by April 15th!)