Main Street business owners know that an investment in our employees is an investment in our business.
By providing the opportunity for our employees to earn paid sick days, we know we’re helping to keep our staff happy and healthy, which is critical to all business success—regardless of size.
To date, 10 states and 22 cities or counties have passed paid sick days laws. Main Street small business owners have been a critical voice in winning these important standards.
Paid sick day laws establish a modest floor for paid sick time as a basic work standard, much like workplace safety or the minimum wage. These standards have many benefits for small businesses, from increased productivity to greater workforce stability to lower health care costs.
But the lack of a uniform national standard means 29 percent of the private sector workforce lack access to a single paid sick day -- and often come into work sick rather than risk wages and their jobs.
This is costing small businesses, our employees, our communities, and the country. The loss in productivity to the U.S. economy due to illness in the workplace has been estimated at $150 billion annually, with the majority of this coming from employees going to work while sick.
It’s time for Congress to catch up to the cities and states that have taken action. Passing a national paid sick days standard will help small businesses invest in dedicated employees. We support the Healthy Families Act, sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sen. Patty Murray, which would allow:
- Up to seven job-protected paid sick days each year for workers at businesses with 15 or more employees
- Up to seven job-protected unpaid sick days each year for workers at businesses with fewer than 15 employees
- Use of sick days to recover from illness, access preventive care, care for a sick family member, attend meetings related to the health or disability of a child
- Use of sick days to recover or seek assistance related to an incident of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault
The Healthy Families Act will be a win-win for Main Street businesses, our employees, and our communities.