President Calls on State, Local Governments to Pass Paid Sick Leave Laws

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News from Engage Michigan

January 16, 2015

Contact: Marissa Luna, 989-798-3051, marissa@engagemichigan.org

President Calls on State, Local Governments to Pass Paid Sick Leave Laws

Paid sick leave legislation long overdue in Michigan

MICHIGAN – Yesterday, President Barack Obama called on Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act, which would allow millions of working Americans to earn up to seven days a year of paid sick leave. He called on state and local governments to pass similar laws.

Mothers advocating for paid sick leave legislation visited state legislators’ offices on Thursday to talk about the importance of ensuring that workers are able to earn paid sick days.

“The president’s announcement is an important step forward in bettering millions of Michiganders’ lives,” said Danielle Atkinson, Director of Mothering Justice. “No one should have to choose between paying the bills and supporting their family or losing their job or pay because they’re unable to go to work due to an illness. Our legislators should follow this call to action and work together to pass legislation that would allow workers to earn paid sick days.”

Having the right to earn paid sick leave would greatly help working mothers and parents. Currently, more than half of working mothers do not have paid sick days they can use to care for their sick children. Parents without paid sick days are more than twice as likely as parents with paid sick days to send a sick child to school or day care.

“I worked in a preschool and always saw parents sending their sick children to school because they weren’t able to stay home and had no other options. Other children would then get sick, teachers would get sick, it was a constant cycle,” said Phyllis Jacob, Director of Organizing and Advocacy with Mothering Justice. “Having paid sick leave would help keep children and families healthy and ensure that parents have much-needed job stability to take care of themselves and their kids.”

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