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Paid sick leave for workers not a ‘job killer’: report

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Washington – Policies for paid sick days and family and medical leave do not result in increased unemployment, according to a report from the Center for American Progress, a policy research and advocacy organization.

Seven states, 30 cities and two counties have passed paid sick day laws, the report states, and five states and the District of Columbia have passed paid family and medical leave laws. CAP researchers compared unemployment rates during the quarter that the law was implemented and one year later.

Results showed that in 16 of 19 cities and states where paid sick leave laws were passed between February 2007 and July 2015, unemployment did not increase one year after the laws were implemented. For San Francisco and Washington, two of the three cities where unemployment rose, researchers noted that “implementation of the paid sick day law directly coincided with the Great Recession,” while the third city – Bloomfield, NJ – experienced a “very slight” increase.

In addition, unemployment did not increase one year after California, New Jersey and Rhode Island implemented policies that require employers to offer paid family leave so workers can take care of their own disability or serious illness, a new child, or a seriously ill family member.

“All too often, critics of paid sick days and paid family and medical leave laws claim that these policies would kill jobs and be detrimental to businesses. But research indicates that such laws aren’t job killers and can have positive effects on businesses and local economies,” Kate Bahn, CAP economist and co-author of the report, said in the release. “Ensuring that workers have access to paid time off can, in fact, reduce turnover and help workplaces become healthier and more productive.”

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