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Progressive States Network Applauds Passage Of Historic Paid Sick Days Bill In Connecticut

06/04/2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Saturday, June 4, 2011
CONTACT: Charles Monaco, Press and New Media Specialist, Progressive States Network, cmonaco@progressivestates.org

Progressive States Network Applauds Passage Of Historic Paid Sick Days Bill In Connecticut

Landmark Victory For Families And Workers To Set Example For Rest Of Nation

Early this morning, history was made in Hartford, Connecticut as the State House of Representatives gave final approval to landmark, common-sense Paid Sick Days legislation that will protect workers, ensure public health, and create stronger and healthier environments in homes and businesses alike. After a lengthy debate, the House voted by a margin of 76-65 to give hundreds of thousands of employees in the service industry the right to earn paid sick leave so that they will never again have to worry about losing their job or the roof over their head because they or a family member get sick.

The State Senate had previously approved the bill (SB 913), which now heads to the desk of Gov. Dannel Malloy, who has said he intends sign it into law. If the bill is signed as expected, Connecticut would become the first state in the nation to enact statewide Paid Sick Days, a victory for workers that follows in the footsteps of other such historic gains as the introduction of a minimum wage, the standardization of the 40-hour work week, and the abolition of child labor.

"As attacks on workers, families, and the middle class take place in states across the country, it is inspiring to see Connecticut step forward as a national leader on pro-worker, pro-family policies," said Ann Pratt, Executive Director of Progressive States Network. "No worker should ever lose their job because they get sick, and no parent should ever have to choose between caring for a sick child and keeping their job. Thanks to this common-sense bill, thousands of families in Connecticut will see their economic security strengthened. Progressive States Network applauds the passage of this landmark legislation, and we fully expect that other states will follow in Connecticut’s footsteps as the economic success of Paid Sick Days as a policy is further demonstrated."

Connecticut’s passage of Paid Sick Days follows other significant victories for workers in statehouses this legislative session. Paid Sick Days, which had already been enacted in San Francisco, is also being advanced in other municipalities including Philadelphia and Seattle. And the California Assembly recently passed its own landmark bill extending basic labor protections to domestic workers (AB 889), setting the stage for them to become the second state in as many years to do so. New York enacted the nation’s first Domestic Workers Bill of Rights last year, correcting seventy years of injustice after domestic employees were left out of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1937 to appease pro-segregationist legislators who would not support extending workers’ rights to the then largely African-American workforce.

Despite strong opposition by the business lobby in Connecticut, there has been a strong and growing body of evidence that Paid Sick Days will be good for businesses. Those studies include:

  • An Economic Policy Institute (EPI) report showing that the direct costs of paid sick leave policies are miniscule, both compared to other major business costs and as a portion of total sales.
  • An Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) paper showing that SB 913 would reduce health care costs and significantly improve health care outcomes.
  • An IWPR survey of San Francisco businesses and workers showing that the city’s paid sick leave law has neither been burdensome to business nor caused job losses.
  • A Connecticut Voices for Children (CVC) paper demonstrating that the state’s tax rates are at worst on par with those of neighboring states, and the total tax burden for higher income earners in Connecticut is actually lower when all taxes are taken into account.

Paid Sick Days is a core policy of Progressive States Network’s 2011 Blueprint For Economic Security, a collaborative effort to provide messages and policy solutions for states that will build security into three broad areas that affect people’s everyday lives: our state economies, our jobs, and our health. For more information, visit http://www.progressivestates.org/blueprint/jobsecurity.
 

About Progressive States Network:

Progressive States Network is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the work of progressive state legislators around the country and to the advancement of state policies that deliver on issues the issues that matter to working families: strong wage standards and workplace freedom, balancing work and family responsibilities, health care for all, smart growth and clean energy, tax and budget reform, clean and fair elections, and technology investments to bridge the digital divide.

 

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