Momentum Building Nationwide for Paid Sick Days Laws
Opposition Grows to Wisconsin State Bill That Would Overturn Milwaukee Paid Sick Days Law
MILWAUKEE—A historic decision by the Wisconsin State Court of Appeals yesterday to uphold a Milwaukee city law that provides paid sick days to workers is building momentum nationwide for growing campaigns in cities and states to pass paid sick days laws that benefit working families, public health and the economy.
In Philadelphia, a paid sick days bill was passed out of a City Council committee a few weeks ago, and in Connecticut, the state legislature is moving forward on a bill with bipartisan support. Paid sick days legislation in New York City has 35 City Council sponsors, legislation is about to be introduced in Seattle, and more than a dozen states have coalitions advocating actively for paid sick days and paid family leave policies. Milwaukee, San Francisco and Washington, DC have passed paid sick days laws.
“The economy is changing, the workforce is changing and workers need policies like paid sick days to stay in their jobs and care for their families,” said Ellen Bravo, Executive Director of Family Values @ Work, a national consortium of state organizations advocating for paid sick days, paid family leave and other family friendly workplace policies. “At a time when corporations are seeing record profits, no worker in America should have to choose between taking care of a sick child or loved one and losing a job or a paycheck.”
In Wisconsin, the decision provides an important victory for workers there who have been under attack by Gov. Scott Walker and the CEOs of large corporations. The ruling provides a boost to the campaign by workers, unions, seniors, women’s groups and others to fight back against the latest attack on workers’ rights and the middle class. A bill passed by the State Senate and pending in the State Assembly (AB41) would overturn the Milwaukee city law. In 2008, a Milwaukee paid sick days ordinance was approved by nearly 70 percent of voters. The bill, which would benefit more than 120,000 Milwaukee workers, gives workers the right to earn between five and nine paid sick days a year, depending on the size of their employer.