Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Petition for Paid Sick Days

This is the moment
Tonight is the night, we’ll fight till it’s over
So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us
Like the ceiling can’t hold us

~ Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "Can't Hold Us"

You may have seen the recent news reports about a norovirus outbreak at the Chipotle here in Northern Virginia. Apparently, one contagious employee who made the decision to come to work sick resulted in nearly 100 people being infected.

Why do people make the decision to come to work when they are sick?

Often people fear losing their job, or they can't afford to lose a day's pay. Nearly 42% of Virginians don't have paid sick days or paid time off to care for themselves or their children.

Federal policy makers have proposed the Healthy Families Act to make paid sick leave a national mandate. Unfortunately, given the way things are going in Congress these days, it's unlikely to move forward any time soon.

Once again, that means it is up to each state to figure out the best way to solve the problem and avoid outbreaks like we saw last week in Northern Virginia.

That's why I've introduced legislation and budget amendments to expand paid sick days and paid time off in Virginia.

Why are paid sick days important?

Paid sick days reduce the spread of contagious diseases like the flu (and norovirus!), emergency medical expenses, and employee turnover. Furthermore, communities of color and single parents are disproportionately affected by lack of access to paid sick days.

As a Delegate, I take my role of working to better our community and the lives of all Virginians seriously. And I believe that the majority of Virginians agree that offering paid sick days is is the right thing to do.

If increasing the number of Virginia workers with paid sicks days is important to you, please sign the petition and share it with you friends and neighbors!