Family Values @ Work

Family Values @ Work Hails Chicago Voters’ Overwhelming Support for Earned Sick Days

Family Values @ Work Hails Chicago Voters’ Overwhelming Support for Earned Sick Days

February 25, 2015

Calls on City Council to Respond Quickly with Strong Policy

In response to Tuesday’s non-binding referendum on earned sick days, where 82 percent of voters supported the measure, Family Values @ Work issued the following statement:

“As expected, Chicago voters sent a loud and clear message to their elected officials:  we need an earned sick time policy now,” said Ellen Bravo, Executive Director of Family Values @ Work. “The vote will come as no surprise to the majority of the city’s aldermen who already back a proposed bill to ensure workers earn up to 9 or 5 paid sick days a year depending on employer size.

“Such strong support demonstrates the need in a city where 42 percent of private sector workers do not have access to a single paid sick day. Above all, earned sick days is a jobs policy. It provides a measure of job security and income stability. That’s good for workers and their families, and good for businesses and the economy.

“As a society, we tell parents to take good care of their children and to follow doctor’s orders. Yet lack of access to sick days means more than 460,000 Chicago workers can be fired or docked pay for doing exactly that.  The heaviest burden falls on low-income workers – nearly four out of five lack paid sick days. Likewise, African-American and Latino workers disproportionately lack access.

“We applaud Chicago’s voters for wanting to make that city the next location to win paid sick days, following on wins in what are now 17 cities and 3 states. We also applaud our member coalition, Earned Sick Time Chicago Coalition, for its outstanding work getting out word of the ballot measure. We call on City Council and Mayor Emanuel to act swiftly to respond to the clear need and desire for a Chicago earned sick days bill now.”


Family Values @ Work is a network of coalitions in 21 states working to pass policies that value families at work such as paid sick days and affordable family leave. More information at