Commentary | Health

Connecticut correct to mandate paid sick days

On Tuesday, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy signed into law legislation that provides a minimum number of paid sick days for many workers in the state. With this law, Connecticut became the first state to provide such cost-effective benefits to its workers and their families.

Historically, access to paid sick days has been far more common among high-income workers, leaving low-income families with little protection when they get sick or need to visit the doctor. This important legislation not only protects workers from lost pay or potential job loss when they or their family members get sick, it also protects the public by keeping sick workers, who feel economically compelled to work, from spreading illness to co-workers and customers.

Connecticut is doing what many federal lawmakers would like to do through the Healthy Families Act, which would provide a minimum standard of paid sick days to the 40 million workers nationwide without such protection. For more details on why this is such a valuable benefit, especially in the current economy, read EPI’s recent report and Economic Snapshot, and click through this PowerPoint presentation on sick days in the United States.

See related work on Health | Paid sick leave | Unions and Labor Standards | Wages, Incomes, and Wealth

See more work by Elise Gould