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America needs mandatory sick days: Obama

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President Barack Obama has declared it is time for hard-working Americans to have mandatory sick leave allowance.

In a blog post written by his senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, she announced that on Thursday Obama will call on Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act. This would ensure employers allow millions of Americans to earn up to seven days a year of paid sick time.

He will also call on all states and cities to pass similar laws.

“President Obama will announce several initiatives that will spur action and move us toward our goal of fully supporting and empowering working parents in both their roles as workers and parents,” Jarrett wrote. 

“We know that states and cities are leading the way in this fight to pass laws to protect their workers. We’ll work to support these states and cities in their efforts to bring paid leave and sick days to all working families, and the President is continuing his push to bring similar flexibility to federal workers.”

The post added the President will outline the plan to help states create paid leave programmes. He will also shed light on a plan to provide new funding through the Department of Labor for feasibility studies, which will help other states plan programmes of their own and put them into action.

The President will also sign a Presidential Memorandum that will ensure federal employees have access to at least six weeks of paid sick leave when a new child arrives, and propose that Congress offer six weeks of paid administrative leave as well.

ALSO READ: Parental leave around the world [INFOGRAPHIC]

Jarrett added that currently, 43 million private sector workers in the US are without any form of paid sick leave. Just California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island offer paid family and medical leave.

“The United States remains the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave,” she said.

“The truth is, the success and productivity of our workers is inextricably tied to their ability to care for their families and maintain a stable life at home. More and more employers are coming to understand this.

“If you’re an employer, ask yourself what you’re doing for your workers on paid sick days and paid leave. If you’re looking for a job, ask yourself what you want out of your employer.”

Image: Shutterstock

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