As Coronavirus Threat Grows, We’re Fighting to Protect Workers
Women Employed helped pass Chicago’s paid sick days law in 2016, and its importance is more evident now than ever in the midst of a deadly flu season and now the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Now the Illinois House has the opportunity to help stop the spread of diseases like the coronavirus by passing a statewide bill called the Healthy Workplace Act (SB 471) that will guarantee paid sick days for all Illinois workers.
Public health guidelines suggest staying home from work if sick to avoid spreading illness such as COVID-19 or to care for children if schools close. However, not everyone has that option, as Illinois has no state paid leave policy and 1.5 million workers in Illinois have no right to a single paid sick day. Without paid sick days, staying home from work may mean losing necessary income or even a job. As COVID-19 arrives in the U.S., we need paid sick days NOW to ensure that millions of people aren’t exposed to the contagious diseases by coworkers who cannot afford to stay home.