Health association calls for paid sick days for more workers

Boston – More U.S. workers should have access to paid sick and family leave, according to a recently adopted American Public Health Association policy statement.

APHA also is calling for federal lawmakers to amend the Family and Medical Leave Act so it applies more broadly than it currently does. Although the act allows workers to take repercussion-free unpaid time off for personal illness, to care for ill family members or after having a new child, it only protects workers employed more than a year and whose employer has 50 or more employees.

Workers who do not have access to paid sick leave are faced with the choice of earning a paycheck or working while ill, which puts the rest of the workforce at risk, according to policy co-author and George Washington University researcher Liz Borkowski.

This policy statement was adopted by APHA’s governing council on Nov. 5 at the association’s 141st annual meeting. The full statement is scheduled to be released early next year once it is finalized.