Spreading Not Sickness, but Paid Sick Leave

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Tomorrow, I am participating in webinar to talk about Paid Sick Leave with the National Young Elected Officials Network. The Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network mission is to unite and support progressive elected leaders, 35 years of age and under.

Voters believe, by a 2:1 margin, that elected officials supporting Paid Sick Leave laws show that they understand the challenges of balancing work and family, and that those elected leaders are helping give workers economic stability in a tough economy.  Also, in Connecticut, research done after passage of their law, found this issue can energize and engage voters.  Most importantly, Paid Sick Leave is good for public health and the right thing to do in a nation where more than forty percent of workers do not receive paid sick days and may lose pay and risk losing their jobs when they take time off due to illness.

Some critics argue that Paid Sick Leave laws are bad for business, but there’s no evidence of this and cities with Paid Sick Leave laws have strong workforces and prospering small businesses.  Nevertheless, if there is an unlevel playing field for business created when some cities have paid sick leave and others don’t require it, one way to address that concern is by standardizing the requirement across the nation.  With this vision in mind, I’m looking forward to sharing, with other elected leaders across the nation, the story of Seattle’s passage of Paid Sick Leave, why I am such a strong advocate of this policy, and how I was able to build support among my colleagues on the Council.

For more information on Seattle’s Paid Sick Leave legislation, see here.