Paid Sick Days are for Kids Too!

Imagine you or your child gets sick and must go to the doctor, but you can’t afford to take the day off because if you lose your pay, you won’t be able to pay your rent or other bills. What would you do?

Fortunately, because of the Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act, fewer families need to make such difficult choices. Now, all part-time, full-time and tipped workers start earning paid sick days as soon as they start work and can begin to use them after 90 days. How many days you can earn is determined both by the size of your employer and the number of hours you work – but full time employees are entitled to at least 3 days a year! Parents can also use their paid sick days to take care of a sick child. That’s why the Paid Sick Days for All Coalition is launching our “Back to School” outreach campaign.

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Paid Sick Days Coalition member Nikki Lewis of DC Jobs with Justice and Councilmember David Grosso hand out information to parents

The Paid Sick Days Coalition has partnered with the Washington Teacher’s Union to let all DC parents know that they have a right to paid sick days. The campaign kicked off on Wednesday, September 10th at Barnard Elementary School’s Back To School night. The PSD Coalition was excited to be joined by at-large Councilmember David Grosso, who handed out flyers to inform parents that they have the right to take paid time off of work to take care of their child when they are sick.

As part of our effort to let parents know about their rights to paid sick days, the coalition asks for the DC community to join us in a Twitter Storm on Friday, September 19th from 1-3pm. Follow #paidsickdays during that time to hear parents, teachers, advocates, and workers talk about paid sick days and #backtoschool!

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While we are excited about this new law, we recognize that it is a long time coming. In 2008, Washington, D.C. became the second city to pass legislation (the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act) that allowed workers in the District to earn paid time off to care for themselves and their families when they are sick. However, the law did not cover everyone. Tipped restaurant workers, along with anyone who has been working for less than a year or less than half-time, were still excluded. That’s why the Paid Sick Days Coalition worked to pass the Earned Sick and Safe Leave Amendment Act of 2013. We believe that allowing all workers to earn paid sick days reduces health care costs, limits the spread of illnesses, protects people’s jobs and financial security and boosts business productivity.

Please join our Twitter storm on September 19th and let the world know what paid sick days mean to you and your family!