While Vermont is often celebrated for close-knit communities, a friendly small business culture, and progressive health care policies, a significant portion of our working families struggle to balance their health needs with the terms of their employment. For those without the financial security to miss a day of work without pay, this frequently results in the hard decision to go to work sick or send children to school or child care sick. The consequences for these families are felt in their overall health and wellbeing and can result in serious financial hardship. But the consequences don’t stop there: when workers go to work sick or when children go to school/child care sick, the rate of infection increases in the general population.
Guaranteed paid sick days benefit everybody. They’re good for workers and their families, good for employers, and critical to public health and safety. Unfortunately, thousands of Vermonters do not have access to paid sick time because no federal or state law currently guarantees any paid time off for Vermont workers. At present, half of Vermont’s private sector employers do not offer paid sick time.
Vermont’s Paid Sick Days Coalition is working to pass a bill that would require employers to permit absence from work for personal or family health reasons without loss of pay.