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Heinrich backs paid sick leave measure

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico is supporting legislation that would require employers to provide paid sick days immediately to workers to address the coronavirus crisis, and in preparation for future public health emergencies.

The bill would require all employers to allow workers to accrue seven days of paid sick leave and to provide an additional 14 days available immediately in the event of any public health emergency, including the current coronavirus crisis.

“To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control advises that if you are sick, you should stay home. However, there are many workers in New Mexico and across the country that face the impossible choice of caring for their health and family or keeping their job and getting a paycheck,” Heinrich said in a release.

In addition to the sick leave days, the bill would ensure paid sick leave covers days when a worker’s child’s school is closed due to a public health emergency, when an employer is closed due to a public health emergency, or if the worker or a family member is quarantined or isolated due to a public health emergency.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.