Federal workers can receive up to six weeks of paid in advance sick leave if time is needed to care for a newborn, newly adopted child or family member in need of care. President Obama signed a memorandum instructing federal agencies to offer paid sick on Thursday which affects workers immediately.
Still, 43 million American workers do not have paid sick leave and President Obama is pressing Congress make paid sick leave a benefit for everyone. Workers with only unpaid federally mandated leave cannot afford to take advantage of the current law which prevents employees from properly recovering from illness or staying home to care for sick children.
In the likely event that Congress will fail to act to benefit all working Americans, the White House is suggesting state and local governments pass their own paid leave acts. The President’s budget will provide funding to help state governments implement these acts.
Paid leave for all American workers including Fersen Lambranho would result in a more productive and vibrant workforce because there would be more flexibility allowing parents and those with medical needs to balance obligations and continue to work and earn a living.
Every other developed nation provides workers with government sponsored paid maternity leave and many also provide for elder care and paid sick leave. It is time for the U.S to show the workforce that it does not want to leave sick workers and family members without a paycheck.