Rep. Taylor Joins Keep Families First Coalition, 9to5

Taylor Joins in Call for Passage of “Healthy Families Act,” Pledges to introduce similar legislation in Wisconsin Milwaukee — Rep. Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee) joined Senator Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee), Amy Stear, Keep Families First Coalition, and Ellen Bravo, Director of 9to5, as they applauded the introduction of The Healthy Families Act in Congress, which is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and Russ Feingold (D-WI). This federal legislation would guarantee seven paid sick days per year for full-time employees, and a pro-rata number for part-time employees. It would cover public and private sector employers with at least 15 employees. This action comes on the heels of the release of a report that examined the laws and regulations governing paid sick leave in the United States. This report gives Wisconsin a grade of “C” on paid sick leave. Not a single state is doing enough to guarantee paid sick leave to employees, the report finds, warning that millions of workers face a terrible dilemma when they themselves or a family member is sick — miss a day of pay or leave a sick child or elderly parent without care. “We have a lot of work to do here in Wisconsin,” said Rep. Taylor. “A workplace with at least 15 employees that does not provide paid sick days is a workplace that is failing its employees, its community and itself. Children are not getting the care they need, sick workers are coming to work and infecting others and businesses are suffering because they are not retaining employees who are already trained. It’s time to remedy this intolerable situation.” The National Partnership study reports that 59 million workers, including 47 percent of the private sector in the U.S. have no paid sick leave at all. In addition, some 86 million workers do not have even one paid sick day that can be used to care for sick children. “Paid sick leave is the next frontier in the effort to make our state’s workplaces more family-friendly,” added Rep. Taylor. “More than 4 in 10 (41%) of working parents with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty line have no paid leave of any kind. It’s time to put our families first. I look forward to introducing a similar proposal at the state level when the legislature reconvenes in January.”