Earned Sick Days
Family Leave Insurance
Fair Scheduling

Earned Sick Days

Current Legislation

Cities, counties, and states across the country are adopting earned sick days laws. Nearly three dozen jurisdictions have passed such laws.

Five states currently have earned sick days laws: Connecticut, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Vermont.

Over two dozen smaller jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia, as well as numerous cities, have passed these laws. For information about the laws that have passed, see resources from the Over two dozen smaller jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia, as well as numerous cities, have passed these laws. For information about the laws that have passed, see resources from the National Partnership for Women & Families and A Better Balance.

Proposed Federal Legislation

Under the federal Healthy Families Act (HFA), workers employed at firms with more than 15 employees would earn at least 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked; those at smaller companies could earn unpaid, job-protected sick days. Under the proposed law, employers could cap earned sick time accrual at 56 hours (7 days) at any one time. Employers always have the option of implementing more generous sick time policies. Employers’ existing paid leave policies would meet the requirements of the HFA so long as employees could use the paid leave for all purposes specified in the act.

Workers could use earned sick time to attend to their own medical needs (including preventive care); to care for family members; to attend school or other meetings related to their children’s health; or to obtain assistance related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Read more about the Healthy Families Act

Family Leave Insurance

Current Legislation:

Four states, California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New York, have passed legislation to create family leave insurance programs. These states also have public disability insurance programs that enable workers to take paid medical leave to attend to their own illnesses or injuries.
New Jersey
Rhode Island
New York

Proposed Federal Legislation

The federal Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act would create a national insurance program to provide workers with up to 12 weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a sick family member, or recover from their own serious illness. Leave can also be used for certain reasons related to family members’ military service.

The system would be funded by small contributions from employers and employees. Employers and employees would each contribute 0.2 percent of employee earnings. (For example, for an employee earning $40,000 per year, the employer and employee would each contribute just $1.54 per week.) Workers on leave would receive 66% of their normal wages, with a monthly of $580 and ceiling of $4000. These floor and ceiling amounts would be adjusted for inflation in subsequent years.

Read more about the FAMILY Act

Fair Scheduling

Current Legislation

San Francisco recently passed the country’s first “Retail Workers Bill of Rights,” which includes numerous protections related to fair scheduling. San Francisco and Vermont also have laws in place that allow workers to request scheduling accommodations without fear of retaliation; these rules are known as “right to request” laws.

San Francisco’s Retail Workers Bill of Rights
San Francisco’s Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance
Vermont’s Flexible Working Arrangements Law

Proposed Federal Legislation

The federal Schedules that Work Act would give all workers the right to request a flexible, predictable, or stable schedule without fear of retaliation from their employer. A worker with caregiving obligations, a second job, or a serious health condition, or who was enrolled in an educational or job training program would have the right to receive such a schedule, unless the employer had a bona fide business reason for refusing the request.

Workers in the retail, food preparation and service, and building cleaning industries would gain additional scheduling protections. (The Secretary of Labor could designate additional industries for coverage if sufficient evidence demonstrates a need.) Workers in these industries would have the right to receive their work schedules two weeks in advance. They would also receive one hour of additional compensation for last-minute schedule changes or split shifts, and up to four hours of compensation for being sent home prior to the end of their shift.

 Read more about the Schedules that Work Act