The national momentum for paid family leave and paid sick days is growing.
States and local governments across the country are adopting policies that allow working people to take care of themselves and their families in the event of illness, welcome a new baby to the family, or recover from surgery without going broke.
Business leaders are also speaking up in support of policies that require employers to provide paid sick and medical leave, and research is clear that paid leave is a smart move for businesses.
Bills on paid family leave and paid sick days are under consideration in Congress and in the legislatures of several states—including North Carolina's. But if we want paid leave to be a reality, we need to make sure our elected officials know how important this issue is to us as constituents.
The U.S. is one of the only nations in the world without some kind of paid leave policy. We can do better. Election season is upon us, and candidates are taking public positions on a range of issues impacting families. Now that the North Carolina primary is over, it’s time to ask candidates how they plan to address the need for paid leave.
To Deborah Ross, Richard Burr, Pat McCrory, and Roy Cooper:
Everyone gets sick at some point in their working years, but 1.2 million private-sector workers in North Carolina have no access to any earned paid sick leave. A majority of these workers are low-income workers who cannot afford to lose their wages due to an unforeseen illness.
Paid family medical leave policies benefit workers, their families, businesses and our economy, enabling families to stay afloat during a family health crisis or following the birth or adoption of a baby. Paid sick days policies boost workplace productivity, reduce turnover, and make workplaces healthier and safer for employees and consumers.
With all that we stand to gain for our families and the economy, why should we continue waiting to adopt these policies?