Saturday, June 4, 2011

Breaking News: Connecticut Passes First State Paid Sick Days Bill!

Connecticut has just become the first state in the nation to pass paid sick days legislation that ensures workers will be able to take paid time off to recover when they are sick or to care for a sick family member. Passage of this bill by the Connecticut state legislature was the result of years of tireless campaigning by the Connecticut Working Families Organization, and more than 40 public health, community, labor and other groups. Governor Dan Malloy provided critical political leadership; Malloy won the governorship, in part, because of his support for paid sick days.

Passage of this bill demonstrates the kind of concrete steps lawmakers can take to help working families and provides momentum to the growing push for paid sick days and other progressive workplace policies across the country.

Action is expected soon on paid sick days measures around the county.

Among the many cities and states with robust coalitions, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Denver are all expecting action on paid sick days in the coming months. In New York City, Massachusetts, Georgia, California and a dozen other states and cities, coalitions are actively building support for similar measures.

This growing momentum is good news for our families and our health. Providing paid sick days means more of us will be able to stay home when we’re sick instead of putting others at risk and that we’ll be able to care for a sick child or parent without fear of losing a day’s pay or being fired.

There is strong public support for policies that protect the health of workers and their families, and reflect the economic realities of family life today – when most women work, most families with children have two working parents, growing numbers of workers care for an aging parent, and few can afford to lose a day’s pay or their job because they stayed home sick or to take care of a sick loved one.

When people lack paid sick days, health care costs rise, children and adults delay or forgo preventive care, and contagious illnesses spread through workplaces and communities.

The win for paid sick days in Connecticut and growing support across the country gives working families some much needed relief as they continue to struggle to support their families and fight back attacks.  Congratulations to everyone who worked on this bill, and to all those who will benefit from it.

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