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Washington, D.C. March 12, 2020 — Today, the Center for American Progress released a new column looking at the urgent need for a national and comprehensive paid leave policy. While the United States currently has an estimated more than 1,300 confirmed coronavirus diagnoses, many more people have been instructed to self-quarantine or take other precautions that require them to need time away from work in order to limit the virus’ spread. Unfortunately, the United States currently has no national solution to support workers who require leave to care for themselves or a family member but cannot afford to lose their jobs or paychecks. Key findings from the column include:

  • More than 32 million—or more than 1 in 4—private sector workers in America lack access to paid sick leave.
  • Workers who lack access to paid sick leave are three times less likely to receive medical care, while their family members are 1.6 times less likely to receive care.
  • Private sector workers in the South and Midwest are most likely to lack access to paid sick leave.
  • Low-income, service sector, Hispanic, and American Indian or Alaskan Native workers suffer most from a lack of national approach to paid leave.
  • 70 percent of private sector workers earning $10.79 or less per hour lack access to paid sick leave; meanwhile, just 10 percent of private sector workers earning $30.61 or more per hour have access to paid sick leave.

“As Congress weighs how to help working families amid the COVID-19 pandemic, passing a national paid leave solution is critical for limiting community spread of the virus and protecting workers’ health and financial security,” said Shilpa Phadke, vice president of the Women’s Initiative at CAP.

Please click here to read “Lack of Paid Leave Risks Public Health During the Coronavirus Outbreak” by Diana Boesch, Sarah Jane Glynn, and Shilpa Phadke.