CONGRESSMAN JOE MORELLE CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE, PAID SICK DAYS FOR WORKERS AS CORONAVIRUS SPREADS
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, in light of the risk posed by Coronavirus, Congressman Joe Morelle co-sponsored comprehensive legislation to ensure all workers across America have paid sick days, effective immediately.
“The best thing Americans can do to prevent the spread of Coronavirus is to stay home when they are sick—but for too many workers, that is a luxury they simply cannot afford,” said Rep. Joe Morelle. “Now more than ever, no one should be forced to choose between their health or their paycheck, which is why I’m so proud to co-sponsor this important legislation. I look forward to working towards its swift passage to safeguard public health and provide peace of mind to working families everywhere.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines advise people to stay home if they are sick. Not only does this protect the individual who may be ill, it also prevents the spread of disease to friends and coworkers—which is critical to containing the highly contagious Coronavirus.
However, for many workers, choosing to stay home when they are sick means forgoing a paycheck or even risking losing their job. Twenty-seven percent of private-sector workers do not receive paid sick leave, including 42 percent of service-sector workers and 70 percent in the bottom tenth of wage earners.
This legislation, HR 6150, requires all employers to allow workers to accrue seven days of paid sick leave and to provide an additional 14 days, available immediately, in the event of any public health emergency, including the current coronavirus crisis. In addition, it ensures paid sick leave covers days when your child’s school is closed due to a public health emergency, when your employer is closed due to public health emergency, or if you or a family member is quarantined or isolated due to a public health emergency.
Rep. Morelle is also a co-sponsor of the Healthy Families Act, which would require businesses with at least 15 workers to grant seven days of paid sick leave annually to allow workers to stay home sick, seek medical care or take care of a sick family member.