More Than 2,000 Illinoisans Sign Petition Urging Leaders to Enact Paid Sick Time

May 12th, 2020

Women Employed-Led Coalition Delivers Petition to Governor, Legislators

CHICAGO – Today Women Employed joined our partners in the Illinois Paid Sick Days Coalition to deliver a petition, signed by more than 2,000 Illinois residents, to Illinois leaders urging them to pass a paid sick time law covering hundreds of thousands of working people in our state who are currently unprotected. The COVID-19 crisis has made clear how important workplace protections like paid sick days are to curb the spread of illness and keep Illinois residents healthy and safe. The Illinois Paid Sick Days Coalition, which includes more than 70 organizations, is calling on our leaders to pass up to 5 permanent paid sick days that working people can use for their own illness, to care for a family member, and in public health emergencies like COVID-19.

As conversations about re-opening our state for business heat up, we must ensure this common-sense protection is in place to curb the spread of disease and ensure our state can flatten the curve. Research has shown that a lack of paid sick time can worsen public health emergencies. During the H1N1 flu epidemic in 2009, it was estimated that 7 million additional people contracted the disease due to a lack of paid sick time and other basic workplace protections.

“We can no longer treat paid sick days as a luxury reserved for those in higher-paid or white-collar professions,” said Cherita Ellens, CEO of Women Employed. “This crisis has made clear what Women Employed has known for years—working people on the frontlines, those who are least likely to have paid sick time, are essential to the well-being of all of us. As a society, we cannot thrive unless ALL of us are treated with the dignity we deserve.”

Due to the stay at home order, the coalition delivered the petition virtually to the Governor and legislators. To view a video of our petition delivery, visit https://youtu.be/lBfDIDK6pu8

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Women Employed relentlessly pursues equity for women in the workforce by effecting policy change, expanding access to educational opportunities, and advocating for fair and inclusive workplaces to make the world a better place for us all. Since 1973, Women Employed has opened doors, broken down barriers, and created fundamental, systemic change for working women. Visit https://womenemployed.org, or follow @WomenEmployed on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Judy Miyashita
(312) 782-3902, x239
jmiyashita@womenemployed.org