Yet, the United States is one of 11 countries that has no federal paid sick leaves. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s most wealthy countries temporarily increased their sick leave to cover those in quarantine and self employed workers. This was to help employers avoid paying for sick leave.
March 2020, when the pandemic began, was the first day the United States offered comprehensive paid time off. The program ended in December of that year. It allowed workers to care for sick or disabled relatives for two weeks, and for children whose schools were closing for 12 weeks. Employers received a full reimbursement in the form a payroll tax credit.
The leave was not granted to more than half the private-sector workers. This includes workers at large companies with more workers than 500 and small business workers. However, evidence showed that it did not slow down the spread Covid. A study published by Health Affairs compared the number of new Covid cases in states with sick leave and those that have received it as a result of the new law. After taking into account factors such as testing They also feared lockdowns. nationwide. Kaiser Family Foundation also found that paid sick leave increases vaccination rates.
“High-quality data clearly shows infection decreases when workers have access to sick leave,” said Nicolas Ziebarth, an economist at Cornell who was one of the researchers on the first study. “It prevents contagious workers from coming to work.”
Democrats have long advocated for permanent paid leave for a variety of reasons, including sickness and caregiving. Initially, President Biden’s large social spending bill had 12 weeks of leave. This plan, however, failed to receive enough support from Congress, even from Republicans.
Democrats have refocused their efforts on a temporary program that provides Covid with emergency time off. They hope that this smaller version will get more Republican votes. Trump supported the first round of Covid paid leaves in 2020.
A U.S. Chamber of Commerce official stated that they do not support the passing of paid leave in a crisis situation. Covid seems to be here to stay. The chamber does not support using funding measures to get it done. Instead, it suggests that Congress debate it as a separate policy. It also says that it is not the time to do it, as restrictions such as mask mandates have been eased by Democratic governors.
Source: NY Times