Nearly 28 million people working in the private sector in the U.S. have no access to earned sick time, or “paid sick leave” (PSL) for short-term health needs and preventive care. These workers face an impossible choice when they are sick: to stay home and risk their economic stability, or go to work and risk their health and the public’s health. Seven in ten of the lowest-wage workers do not have paid sick days to care for their own health. Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) workers, low-wage, part-time, immigrant, and service-industry workers are especially unlikely to have access to paid sick days.
Our Theory of Change
ICCR members are engaging companies across a range of sectors with an emphasis on retail and restaurant companies where frontline workers are most exposed to the public, and by extension, potential illness, advocating for formal paid sick leave policies for workers.
The Business Case for Action
Businesses benefit when their employees have access to paid sick days. Paid sick days reduce turnover, which in turn reduces costs incurred from advertising, interviewing, and training new hires. This is particularly important in lower-wage industries where turnover is highest. Researchers calculated that providing paid sick leave costs employers an average of 2.7 cents per hour of paid work. However, workplace policies that force workers to be on the job when they aren’t healthy lead to decreased productivity and the possible spread of infection in the workplace at a cost to employers.
Recent ICCR Actions Advancing Paid Sick Leave
As some companies that initially adopted paid sick leave policies have started to reduce their paid sick time despite new COVID-19 variants presenting continued risks to workers, ICCR’s members are keeping the pressure during the 2023 filing season.
ICCR’s worker-centered approach is having an impact. In 2023, our members: