More needs to be done to encourage paid sick and family-medical leave policies that help employees balance work and family. That was the message of witnesses at a congressional subcommittee on workforce protections. Many workers, according to their testimony, have to choose between a paycheck and taking a day off because of an illness, or a child who needs to see the doctor.
Although more than 60 percent of private sector workers already have access to paid sick days, lower income workers are much less likely to be offered paid sick time.
Noted Heather Boushey, senior economist with the Center for American Progress Action Fund: “Establishing job-protected family leave for more workers would help to ensure that no worker is pushed into the masses of the unemployed simply because they needed to care for a sick child or need time to recover from an illness.”
Supporters cited studies that suggest providing paid sick leave not only benefits workers, but also helps employers because turnover is reduced and workers are more satisfied on the job.