"Working Americans can’t afford to stay home when they’re sick because they don’t have paid sick days,” said Dr. Jody Heymann, Director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy and Professor of Epidemiology at McGill University and lead author of the report. "The economic costs of a serious flu outbreak are potentially enormous.
We can't afford to wait any longer before providing American workers with paid sick days,” they said.
The President’s executive order will start in 2017, and government contracts must provide workers with a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. But they are not limited to this amount and can be more generous with employees.
Monday’s announcement of the executive order follows a series of measures by this administration to expand access to paid leave. In January, Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the government to advance up to six weeks of paid sick leave for the birth or adoption of a child, or for other sick-leave eligible uses, according to Raw Story.
Parental leave after the birth of a child is also a consideration, and the President has recommended that Congress pass legislation to ensure both mothers and fathers have equal access to six weeks of additional leave.
In a Labor Day appearance in Boston to make the announcements, Obama will also call on Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act requiring all businesses with 15 or more employees to offer minimum seven days paid sick leave yearly.
According to the White House, an astonishing 44 million private-sector workers, about 40 percent of the total private-sector workforce, do not have access to paid sick leave.
Obama will also announce new Department of Labor rules giving federal contract workers new tools to demand equal pay.
The US ranks last in the world in every measure regarding family policy in a study by Pew in major areas such as paid maternity leave, sick leave, child care, flexible work hours, and bans on mandatory overtime.
Executive orders are an expeditious way for a president to enact changes, but permanent changes need to be passed by Congress and become the law of land. Calling on Congress to put American workers and the Middle Class first on their agenda is clearly the direction the country is moving.
is retired and lives in Clearlake, California. She has three grown
children and one grandson and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Services
Administration from St. Mary’s College in Moraga California. On the
home front Dava enjoys time with her family, reading, gardening, cooking