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Your Child's Health vs. Your Job

It's time to stop making tens of millions of loving parents and guardians choose between their children's health and their jobs. It's time for the Healthy Families Act.

Have you ever had to take a day off from work to care for your sick child at home or take her to the doctor? Did you lose a day's pay to do it -- or even your job? Paid sick days are really important to help care for our kids, reduce stress, and maintain economic opportunity. Unfortunately, more than 43 million Americans, many of whom are low-income workers, do not have paid sick days through their employers. That's bad for kids, and that's why Common Sense Kids Action has given the Healthy Families Act (S. 497/H.R. 932) our "For Kids" legislative rating.

The Healthy Families Act would guarantee up to seven days of job-protected paid sick days per year for employees in the U.S. in businesses with 15 or more employees, a benefit many of us look for when considering a new job. Some cities and states already require some type of paid sick leave, such as San Francisco, New York City, and Connecticut. However, paid sick days should be available everywhere, so we need to pass this legislation in Congress.

Paid sick days promote the health of our kids. Just think about it -- parents who can use paid sick days are 20 percent less likely to send a sick child to school. And when parents can take time off to care for their sick children, those kids are likely to recover faster and are far less likely to infect other kids at their child care or school.

There's a long list of evidence proving that guaranteed paid sick days are good for the economy, public health, and children and families. It's time to stop making tens of millions of loving parents and guardians choose between their children's health and their jobs. It's time for the Healthy Families Act.

Tamar Dayanim