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Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro

Representing the 3rd District of Connecticut

DeLauro, Scott Continue Fighting to Guarantee Workers Can Earn Paid Sick Days, Oppose Overturning Local Protections

November 3, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (November 3, 2017) Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Ranking Member on the Appropriations subcommittee responsible for funding the Department of Labor and author of the Healthy Families Act, and Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, today released the following statement in opposition to the Workflex in the 21st Century Act, which would exempt companies from state and local paid leave requirements under certain circumstances.

“The Workflex in the 21st Century Act is an attack on paid sick day laws that are currently in place in 8 states and 32 localities, including Connecticut,” said Delauro. “These laws guarantee workers can earn paid sick time to recover from illnesses and seek preventive care without being disciplined or losing a paycheck. Instead of workers being able to earn and use paid sick days, this bill would allow companies to set lower standards and deny workers the certainty they are entitled to under their laws. It takes power away from workers and gives it to corporations—and that is just wrong.”

“Every worker should be able to care for themselves and their families when they are sick without having to worry about losing a paycheck. I am proud of Connecticut’s status as the first state in the nation to enact a paid sick days law, setting a positive example that has spread to millions of people across the country,” continued DeLauro. “Our nation should take this progress one step further by enacting guaranteed paid sick leave into law through my bill, the Healthy Families Act. No one should have to choose between getting healthy and not being able to pay their bills or put food on the table. This is the right thing to do for employees, employers, and our economy. ”

“The Workflex in the 21st Century Act would impose a one size fits all approach that would reverse the hard earned victories on paid leave and sick days at the state and local level,” said Scott. “States and localities and working people around the nation have recognized that it is crucial in the modern workplace to be able to have job-protected time off to care for a family member. Unfortunately, this bill weakens those rights. As an alternative, I welcome working with Rep. Walters on passing the FAMILY Act and the Healthy Families Act, neither of which preempt states from passing stronger protections for workers.”

The Healthy Families Act would allow workers to earn paid sick leave to use when they are sick, to care for a loved one, to obtain preventative care, or to address the impacts of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault. Currently, thirty-six percent of the private sector workforce lacks paid sick days. The Healthy Families Act would allow workers at businesses with at least 15 employees to earn up to 56 hours, or seven days, of paid sick leave each year. Businesses that already provide paid sick leave would not have to change their current policies, as long as they meet the minimum standards of the Healthy Families Act.

More information on the Healthy Families Act is available here.

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