In Philadelphia over 40% of workers do not have the ability to earn any paid sick days. Currently, two out of five Philadelphia employees are not allowed by their employers to earn paid sick days. That means they often have to choose between going to work sick and losing a day’s pay (and possibly their jobs) if they stay home sick or with sick kids
This is a big problem – when sick people aren’t able to stay home, it puts everyone’s health at risk – coworkers, restaurant patrons, school kids, and, well, everyone. Allowing workers with contagious diseases to avoid unnecessary contact with co-workers and customers is a fundamental public health measure. Our laws are clearly out of sync with responsible public health practices.
Earned sick days are good for working families, for public health, and for business. Earned sick days would help contain health care costs through prevention, early detection, and treatment of illness. With earned sick days, families will not be forced to send sick children to school where they will likely infect classmates and teachers; workers with paid sick days would not spread illness to their coworkers and customers. Providing earned sick days turns out to be smart business too because it increases employee morale, productivity at work and reduces costly turnover.
The earned sick days bill passed unanimously out of a Philadelphia City Council committee about six weeks ago. Now it must be passed by a majority vote of the Council and then signed by the mayor. A vote is anticipated in early June.
Join Moms Rising and the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces and take action to ensure that Philadelphia families can get earned sick days to take care of themselves or their children when needed. Take action and contact your local council member or write an op-ed piece or attend coalition meetings. Get more ideas about what you can do to support earned sick days here. Let’s make sure that Philly families have the opportunity to be responsible public citizens AND good parents and help to ensure higher quality public health in Philadelphia for all.