Family Values @ Work


March 29, 2013

One Million New Yorkers No Longer Forced to Choose

between their Health and their Job


Ellen Bravo, Executive Director of Family Values @ Work, issued the following statement about New York City’s passage of paid sick days:

 “We applaud our member coalition in New York City, which broke a three-year logjam to join cities and states across the country in making sure that workers will not risk their jobs when they are sick. Nearly a million New Yorkers will no longer have to choose between following doctor’s orders and putting food on the table or keeping the lights on. Making sure that working people have money in their pockets to cover the basics is good economics for all of us.

“This victory continues the momentum spurred by recent wins in Portland, Oregon and Philadelphia. We know New York’s coalition will continue the fight until every single New Yorker has access to paid sick days—just as the movement to value families at work continues across the country.”

The New York City paid sick days bill has support from a veto-proof majority of Council Members and the New York Paid Leave Coalition, a broad and diverse coalition of more than 600 organizations and individuals including workers, business owners, labor unions, advocates for women, children, seniors, and the disabled, civil rights groups, faith leaders and community organizations.

Lawmakers and business leaders around the country are supporting paid sick time as a policy that strengthens the economy by keeping people in their jobs.  This month, Portland, OR became the fourth city to adopt paid sick days, and the Philadelphia’s City Council voted to pass a similar measure. Statewide bills are moving forward in Vermont and Massachusetts.  Residents of Orange County, FL should be able to vote for sick days in August 2014 thanks to 50,000 voters who petitioned for the ballot initiative.

These recent wins and active campaigns build on past victories in Connecticut, which passed the first statewide law in 2011, Seattle in 2011, Washington DC in 2008, San Francisco in 2006, and a November 2012 ballot initiative in Long Beach, California granting sick days to hotel workers.  At the federal level, Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sen. Tom Harkin introduced the Healthy Families Act this month, which would set a national sick days standard.


Family Values @ Work is the national network of city and state coalitions, including the coalition in New York City, fighting for and winning family-friendly workplace policies like paid sick days and family leave insurance.

CONTACT: Emma Stieglitz,, (646) 200-5307