Why all workers need paid sick leave amid the coronavirus pandemic

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States increases and work spaces and schools shutter across the country, more than 30 million workers lack access to paid sick leave. Labor Department data says that one in four workers have no access to paid sick leave, including two-thirds of lowest earners, and the U.S. is one of the only wealthy countries that does not require employers to offer its workers paid sick leave. Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, says the inability for many workers in the U.S. — particularly in the service sector — to stay home when they are sick or need to care for a family member “is an important gap we need to fill with policy.” In order to cover essential care for all people, University of Massachusetts Amherst economics professor Robert Pollin suggests that Medicare should be expanded to cover everyone impacted by the coronavirus. “It is very easy to pay for it,” Pollin says. “The most important thing for people is to be able to get money in their pockets for that assurance and to recognize they have paid sick leave and full coverage for any kind of care that they need with the coronavirus.”

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» Why all workers need paid sick leave amid the coronavirus pandemic | Democracy Now | Radio Free | https://www.radiofree.org/2020/03/13/why-all-workers-need-paid-sick-leave-amid-the-coronavirus-pandemic/ | 2021-09-18T01:58:02+00:00
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