Publication Date



Economic Development


Paid sick leave is a benefit supplied to employees: it means that they are allotted a certain amount of days every year when they can call in sick and the employer still pays them for a full day of work. Roughly 86% of U.S. workers currently receive at least some paid sick leave as a benefit from their employers. While workers at larger businesses have more paid leave than workers at smaller firms, in every sector of the economy the vast majority of workers get paid sick leave. Most policies only cover illnesses of the employee herself. Employees who have families who are sick cannot use their paid time off. Many people are forced to choose between their family’s health and a paycheck. While the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers with more than fifty employees to provide up to twelve weeks of time off when a worker, or an immediate family member, has a serious illness or recently gave birth to a child, this time is unpaid. Most employees cannot afford to forgo their paychecks for this length of time.