The Healthy Families Act would provide employees the opportunity to earn a minimum of seven paid sick days (56 hours) per year to care for themselves or their families.
When illness strikes, it can impact any family’s bottom line. For the nearly 40 percent of the private-sector workforce that lacks paid sick time, this strain is felt acutely. These 40 million workers have to choose between recovering and protecting co-workers from infection and getting a paycheck, especially LGBTQ+ people. In fact, only 29% of LGBTQ workers in an HRC Foundation study said they could take paid medical leave to recover from serious illness. This has major implications for the 40% of LGBTQ adult workers in food services and resturants, K-12 and higher education, hospitals and retail. Millions more workers lack paid sick leave that can be used to care for a sick child or family member. Due to systemic discrimination including health disparities, LGBTQ+ people often find themselves having to choose between the caregiving or recovery time they deserve and the paycheck they need. Access to uniform paid sick leave is essential to closing the gaps created by family illness and helping families stay healthy both physically and financially.
The Healthy Families Act would provide employees the opportunity to earn a minimum of seven paid sick days (56 hours) per year to care for themselves or their families. This leave will relieve workers from having to make the untenable decision between caring for themselves or a loved one and losing necessary income, or even losing their job altogether. The bill provides paid sick time to employees if they become ill, or if they need time to care for a child, a parent, a spouse or “any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.”
What is the Current Status of the Bill?
The Healthy Families Act was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) on April 13, 2021 and in the Senate by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) on April 15, 2021.
Last Updated: September 23, 2021