Healthy Families Act Would Help Strengthen Public Health Amid COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined in reintroducing the Healthy Families Act to allow workers to use paid sick leave to stay home when they are sick or to care for a sick family member. The bill would also cover workers who seek preventive medical care or assistance related to domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault.
“No Granite Stater should be forced to choose between getting a paycheck and staying home when they or a loved one are sick,” Senator Hassan said. “Nevertheless, that is the decision that many have had to make during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this has been especially true for women of color. The Healthy Families Act would help address this disparity by establishing a national paid sick leave policy, which would strengthen public health by helping to prevent the spread of disease.”
The Healthy Families Act would allow workers at businesses with at least 15 employees to earn up to 56 hours, or seven days, of paid sick leave each year. Businesses that already provide paid sick leave would not have to change their current policies, as long as they meet the minimum standards of the Healthy Families Act.
Senator Hassan is pushing for commonsense policies to strengthen public health and the economy. Last year, Senator Hassan successfully pushed the Department of Labor to ensure that workers know their rights to emergency paid leave granted earlier in the pandemic from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The COVID-19 relief and government funding bill, which Senator Hassan worked to negotiate and pass into law in December, extended a tax credit through March 2021 to businesses that choose to provide paid sick and family leave to their employees. In addition, Senator Hassan recently questioned public health experts during a Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the challenges that home health workers, who often don’t have access to paid sick leave, face in accessing COVID-19 vaccines.