The Communications Workers of America said that Congress should swiftly pass the P.A.I.D. Leave Act, which would provide all workers with paid sick days and paid family and medical leave in response to the coronavirus.
But CWA also wants those benefits in place for future crises and life events.
“Nobody should be forced to go to work while sick or capable of spreading a disease during a pandemic," said CWA senior director for government affairs and policy Shane Larson. "Congress must immediately act to give all workers paid sick days and paid family and medical leave to stop the spread of COVID-19. Working people across the country and across the world are looking to their elected officials to use their power and provide leadership in this time of crisis. Our legislators have an opportunity to act now and save lives by passing this bill.”
The bill would require employers to document to the Department of Labor that they are providing the sick leave. Labor has five days to certify that to Treasury, which must cut a check within two days.
Also among the bill's salary protections are 12 weeks of paid leave at 2/3 pay during a "public health emergency."
The bill would apply to all employers and cover independent contractors.
It was introduced by Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (from Washington state, one of the hardest hit by the virus), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (from New York, another hard-hit state, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut.