Heinrich Backs Emergency Paid Sick Days Legislation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is supporting new, emergency paid sick leave legislation to provide paid sick days immediately to workers in light of the coronavirus crisis, and in preparation for future public health emergencies.

This emergency paid sick days legislation requires 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 Center 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,” said Heinrich. “The lack of a national paid leave program strains working families and the economy, especially during a public health crisis like we are facing now. I’m proud to join Senator Murray and Representative DeLauro who have long fought for better family leave policies in our country to introduce this legislation to provide paid sick days immediately to workers in light of the coronavirus crisis, and in preparation for future public health emergencies.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines advise people to stay home if they are sick. However, for many workers—including many restaurant workers, truck drivers, people in the service industry, and more—staying home from work means losing a paycheck or losing your job.

Specifically, this bill would:

  • Require all employers to allow workers to gradually earn seven days of paid sick leave. 
  • Require all employers to provide an additional 14 days of paid sick leave, available immediately at the beginning of a public health emergency, including the current coronavirus crisis. 
  • Ensure paid sick leave covers days when your child’s school is closed due to a public health emergency, when your employer is closed due to public health emergency, or if you or a family member is quarantined or isolated due to a public health emergency.

The legislation, led by Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), has been endorsed by: National Partnership for Women and Families, National Employment Law Project (NELP), Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Center for American Progress (CAP).