Monday, April 8, 2013

The Healthy Families Act

My son is home sick today. As has been the case since my full-time return to the workforce, I debated whether I should stay home to nurture him. But here I am at work, checking in on him every so often and still wondering whether I made the right decision.

It's not that I don't have paid days off. There are several days to choose from, including vacation and sick time. I'm fortunate to work with a company that allots its employees this privilege. Not many workers do though.

The Healthy Families Act was reintroduced in Congress on March 20th. The measure would require companies with more than 15 employees to offer their workers up to 56 hours of paid sick leave. The benefit would be extended to employees who need time off for personal use or care for a sick family member. Victims of abuse would also be eligible and the time off can be used at their discretion.

If passed, the bill will cover millions of workers, including 13 million low wage earners and 15 million women not entitled to paid leave. Fifty-six hours amounts to a week's worth of time to heal or nurture a sick loved one back to health. It's a privilege that many workers need and one that needs serious consideration.

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