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DeLauro, Gillibrand call for federal paid sick leave legislation

U.S. Congresswoman Rosa Delauro (D-CT-03)
Molly Ingram
U.S. Congresswoman Rosa Delauro (D-CT-03)

The United States is one of only eleven countries that does not guarantee paid sick leave — but that could change soon.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) introduced the FAMILY Act on Wednesday.

The FAMILY Act would guarantee paid sick time for every working American, regardless of what company they work for or how many hours per week they work. It would even support paid sick time for self-employed workers.

Gillibrand said nobody should have to choose between taking care of themselves or their family and keeping a job.

“We need to keep fighting for the FAMILY Act as the most important national priority,” Gillibrand said. “The most important economic investment we can make, the most important investment we can make in our children and in our future.”

DeLauro said the country will suffer long-lasting consequences if it does not support its workforce.

“Thirty years ago, we broke ground by enshrining the Family and Medical Leave Act into law, providing unpaid family and medical leave for working Americans,” DeLauro said. “Let’s break ground again by making it paid.”

The bill would also expand the definition of family, improve program financing, upgrade the wage replacement benefits rate, remove the unpaid waiting period for benefits and provide safe leave for sexual and domestic violence survivors.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.