HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP/KDKA) — Gov. Tom Wolf is urging lawmakers to pass legislation that requires businesses to provide paid sick and family leave for workers, saying Monday that it will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Wolf said many workers lack any paid time off, and those working paycheck-to-paycheck are likelier to go to work, even if they feel sick, and infect co-workers.
“Workers should not have to choose between their job and their health, especially during this pandemic,” Wolf told a news conference Monday morning in Harrisburg.
The disparity in access to paid sick leave grows farther down the income ladder, with many more low-wage workers lacking it, Democrats say.
“The absence of paid sick leave has caused employees who have felt unwell to carry the virus, this very contagious virus, into their workplace and infect numerous other coworkers and sometimes even customers,” Wolf said.
The governor says approximately 42% of all American workers don’t have a single paid day off.
Thirteen states and Washington D.C. have enacted laws to require paid sick leave, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures. A few states have temporarily broadened access to paid sick leave in response to the coronavirus, but none have adopted permanent and broad paid sick leave measures.
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