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Sick leave in the United States

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Paid sick leave laws in the United States .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  Paid sick leave is required   Sick leave is not required and state law preempts local requirements   No sick leave laws
Paid sick leave laws in the United States
  Paid sick leave is required
  Sick leave is not required and state law preempts local requirements
  No sick leave laws

The United States federal government requires unpaid leave for serious illnesses, but does not require that employees have access to paid sick leave to address their own short-term illnesses or the short-term illness of a family member. However, a number of states and localities do require some or all employers to provide paid sick leave to their workers.

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United States

United States

The United States of America, commonly known as the United States or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major unincorporated territories, nine Minor Outlying Islands, and 326 Indian reservations. The United States is also in free association with three Pacific Island sovereign states: the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. It is the world's third-largest country by both land and total area. It shares land borders with Canada to its north and with Mexico to its south. It has maritime borders with the Bahamas, Cuba, Russia, and other nations. With a population of over 333 million, it is the most populous country in the Americas and the third most populous in the world. The national capital is Washington, D.C. and the most populous city and financial center is New York City.

Federal government of the United States

Federal government of the United States

The federal government of the United States is the national government of the United States, a federal republic located primarily in North America, composed of 50 states, a city within a federal district, five major self-governing territories and several island possessions. The federal government, sometimes simply referred to as Washington, is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the president and the federal courts, respectively. The powers and duties of these branches are further defined by acts of Congress, including the creation of executive departments and courts inferior to the Supreme Court.

Sick leave

Sick leave

Sick leave is paid time off from work that workers can use to stay home to address their health needs without losing pay. It differs from paid vacation time or time off work to deal with personal matters, because sick leave is intended for health-related purposes. Sick leave can include a mental health day and taking time away from work to go to a scheduled doctor's appointment. Some policies also allow paid sick time to be used to care for sick family members, or to address health and safety needs related to domestic violence or sexual assault. Menstrual leave is another type of time off work for a health-related reason, but it is not always paid.

Availability

Senator Kamala Harris talks about the importance of sick leave during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A 2009 analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that around 39 percent of American workers in the private sector do not have paid sick leave.[1] Around 79 percent of workers in low-wage industries do not have paid sick time.[2] Most food service and hotel workers (78 percent) lack paid sick days.[3]

A 2008 survey reported that 77 percent of Americans believe that having paid sick days is "very important" for workers.[4] Some workers report that they or a family member have been fired or suspended for missing work due to illness.[5]

A 2020 paper found that requiring paid sick leave in the US likely increased overall well-being.[6] When paid sick leave is required by law, workers tended to take two more days off work each year.[6]

Unpaid sick leave

The US requires unpaid leave for serious illnesses through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This law requires most medium-sized and larger employers to comply and, within those businesses, covers employees who have worked for their employer for at least 12 months prior to taking the leave.[7]

Proposed policies in the United States

Public opinion

In August 2008, the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago released their findings from a national public opinion poll on paid sick days.[12]

  • 86 percent of people surveyed said they favor a basic paid sick day policy.
  • 94 percent of self-identified liberals and 81 percent of self-identified conservatives believed that paid sick day should be a basic workplace right.
  • 77 percent of respondents believed that paid sick days were very important.
  • 63 percent of workers who do not have access to paid sick leave said they are concerned about not having paid sick days.
  • 16 percent of workers report that they or a family member have been fired, suspended, or otherwise punished or that they would be fired if they missed work due to illness.
  • 46 percent of respondents said they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports paid sick days.

U.S. federal legislation

The Healthy Families Act (HR 2460 / S 1152) would establish a basic workplace mandate of paid sick days so workers can take paid sick days to care for their health or the health of their families.

The bill creates a minimum requirement that allows workers to earn up to seven days per year of paid leave to recover from illness, to care for a sick family member, or to seek preventative health care. It enables victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault to take paid time off to recover from incidents and seek assistance from the police or court. It also allows people to take time off to care for ill parents and elderly relatives, or to attend diagnostic or routine medical appointments. Employers with fewer than 15 workers would be exempt from the law.

The Healthy Families Act would allow an additional 30 million workers to have access to paid sick leave from their jobs, including 15 million low-wage workers and 13 million women workers. If the bill were to become law, 90 percent of all American workers would have access to paid sick days (up from 61 percent currently).[13]

A version of the bill was first introduced in 2004. Each session, it has gained support inside and outside of Congress. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and Senator Edward Kennedy reintroduced the Healthy Families Act in the 111th Congress in May 2009.[14] After Senator Kennedy's death, Senator Chris Dodd became the lead Senate sponsor of the Healthy Families Act. The bill currently has 125 co-sponsors in the House and 24 in the Senate.

The Healthy Families Act was the subject of three hearings in the 111th United States Congress:

The Obama Administration has testified in support of the bill.[15] First Lady Michelle Obama has spoken out on numerous occasions about the need for a paid sick day mandate.[16]

The U.S. government guarantees federal employees 13 paid sick days a year.[17]

Discover more about Proposed policies in the United States related topics

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Its main campus is located in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. The University of Chicago has been ranked among the best and most selective universities in the United States and the world.

Rosa DeLauro

Rosa DeLauro

Rosa Luisa DeLauro is an American politician who has been the U.S. representative for Connecticut's 3rd congressional district since 1991. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district is based in New Haven and includes most of its suburbs. DeLauro is the dean of Connecticut's congressional delegation.

Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy

Edward Moore Kennedy was an American lawyer and politician who served as a United States senator from Massachusetts for almost 47 years, from 1962 until his death in 2009. A member of the Democratic Party and the prominent political Kennedy family, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died. He is ranked fifth in United States history for length of continuous service as a senator. Kennedy was the younger brother of President John F. Kennedy and U.S. attorney general and U.S. senator Robert F. Kennedy. He was the father of Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy.

Chris Dodd

Chris Dodd

Christopher John Dodd is an American lobbyist, lawyer, and Democratic Party politician who served as a United States senator from Connecticut from 1981 to 2011. Dodd is the longest-serving senator in Connecticut's history. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1975 to 1981.

111th United States Congress

111th United States Congress

The 111th United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government from January 3, 2009, until January 3, 2011. It began during the last weeks of the George W. Bush administration, with the remainder spanning the first two years of Barack Obama's presidency. It was composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The apportionment of seats in the House was based on the 2000 U.S. census.

Source: "Sick leave in the United States", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sick_leave_in_the_United_States.

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References
  1. ^ Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 30. Leave benefits: Access, private industry workers, National Compensation Survey, March 2009.
  2. ^ Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 30.
  3. ^ Vicky Lovell, Institute for Women's Policy Research, Women and Paid Sick Days: Crucial for Family Well-Being Archived June 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, 2007.
  4. ^ Tom W. Smith, Paid Sick Days: A Basic Labor Standard for the 21st Century Archived July 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, August 2008.
  5. ^ Smith, Paid Sick Days.
  6. ^ a b Maclean, Johanna Catherine; Pichler, Stefan; Ziebarth, Nicolas R (2020). "Mandated Sick Pay: Coverage, Utilization, and Welfare Effects". doi:10.3386/w26832. hdl:10419/216444. S2CID 210939849. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ National Partnership for Women and Families, The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Frequently Asked Questions, 2009.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az "What state you live in affects whether you can call in sick to work". Fortune. Retrieved 2022-08-01.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Workers' rights preemption in the U.S.: A map of the campaign to suppress workers' rights in the states". Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved 2022-08-01.
  10. ^ "State Family and Medical Leave Laws". www.ncsl.org. Retrieved 2022-08-01.
  11. ^ "Pittsburgh, PA". A Better Balance. Retrieved 2022-08-01.
  12. ^ Smith, Paid Sick Days Archived July 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, Expanding Access to Paid Sick Leave: The Impact of the Healthy Families Act on America's Workers, March 2010.
  14. ^ "DeLauro Introduces Paid Sick Days Legislation" Archived May 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Testimony of Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth Harris Archived July 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, United States Senate, Hearing Titled: "The Cost of Being Sick: H1N1 and Paid Sick Days" (November 10, 2009).
  16. ^ Remarks by the First Lady at a Workplace Flexibility Conference, March 31, 2010.
  17. ^ "Sick Leave (General Information)". U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Retrieved September 8, 2015.

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