1.2 million Virginians, have 0 paid sick days (or paid time off).
When 41% of private-sector workers have no time off, it's clear that Virginians need paid sick days. This creates a crisis for low-wage workers who must choose between taking a sick day for themselves or a loved one and getting paid.
This is why we are working to create a paid sick day standard in Virginia. This standard would require employers to provide up to 5 paid sick days (40 hours) each year for full-time workers. Workers may use this time for themselves or to care for a sick loved one. Part-time employees accrue less paid sick time based on hours worked and PTO policies qualify as paid sick days.
DO YOU NEED PAID SICK DAYS?
Share your story and help us tell our legislators why we need paid sick days!
VICPP is part of a coalition of organizations fighting to establish a paid sick day standard that keeps Virginians healthy and keeps our economy running.
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During the 2021 General Assembly, let's make paid sick days a priority!
What's the difference between paid sick days and paid family & medical leave?
Paid sick days (also known as paid sick leave) can be used for short periods of time to recover from typical illnesses (such as strep throat or the flu) or for preventative care (annual physicals, dentist appointments, vaccines). Paid sick days are fully paid and may be used to care for a child or other family member who is recovering from an illness or needs to be taken to an appointment.
VICPP is working on a bill that would require workers to earn up to 5 paid sick days (40 hours) each year.
Who benefits from paid sick days?
When a worker takes 3.5 unpaid sick days, the average family loses a month’s worth of groceries. Workers are forced to choose between feeding their families and caring for themselves or their children. Workers and their children need to be able to stay home when they are sick.
Parents who don’t have paid sick days are more than twice as likely to send their children to school sick, than parents who have paid sick days. Sick children can’t learn. Similarly, sick children spread germs to other children and teachers, who share germs with their families. This makes our school unhealthy places for children to learn and grow.
Low-wage workers (food- service, personal health care, and childcare workers) are the least likely to have paid sick days. More than 80 percent of food industry workers and 75 percent of child care workers have no paid sick days. More than half of all Norovirus outbreaks can be traced back to sick food service workers who were forced to choose between working sick and losing pay or their job.
Without paid sick days, workers go to work sick, infecting others and impacting productivity. Employers lose $160 billion annually in productivity due to “presenteeism” (the practice of coming to work despite illness or injury and working less efficiently). Providing paid sick days results in reduced turnover – saving businesses money. The restaurant industry which has a high turnover rate found that implementing workplace benefits can reduce turnover by 50 percent.
In the US, about 38 percent of African Americans and 50 percent of Latinos do not have access to a single paid sick day. More than 25 percent of Latino households and 30 percent of African American households have no savings and cannot afford to take unpaid time off from work.
Read more about why African American families need paid sick days here and why Latino families need paid sick days here (en Español aquí) from the National Partnership for Women & Families.