DC Needs Paid Sick Days for All
In 2008, Washington, D.C. passed a groundbreaking law allowing many workers in the District of Columbia to take paid time off to recover from illness or instances of domestic violence. However, the law does not cover everyone. It does not protect anyone who has been working for less than a year or any tipped restaurant worker, even though these workers still get sick.
Over 80% of restaurant workers in the District of Columbia cannot take paid sick days, and as a result, 59% of restaurant workers have reported preparing, cooking, or serving food while sick. This isn't good for their health or ours. Even in industries covered by the law, workers report that they still can’t earn paid sick days, either because they haven’t been employed for long enough or because their employer simply ignores the law.
Workers who lack paid sick days risk losing their wages or even their job if they stay home to take care of themselves or their families. This isn’t fair. No one should have to choose between their health and their economic security. Paid sick days for all would not only protect people’s jobs and financial security, but it would also reduce the District’s health care costs, limit the spread of illnesses, and boost business productivity.