Healthy Families Act legislation, which would require employers with 15 or more employees to provide workers with up to seven days of paid sick leave, was again introduced in the both the House and Senate on May 12, 2011 (H.R. 1876, S. 984). The House and Senate bills were identical and both were referred for committee review.
Proponents of the bills state that workers without paid sick leave report to work when ill (referred to as "presenteeism"), which generally results in the employees’ symptoms lasting longer and, with contagious illnesses, the infection of co-workers. The proponents assert that presenteeism costs employers $160 billion in lost productivity.
The details for the bills include the following:
- Workers would earn up to 56 hours (seven days) paid leave in a calendar year.
- Workers could use the leave to recover from their own illnesses, to care for an ill family member, to obtain medical (preventive or diagnostic) treatment, or to seek care if they are the victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.
- Employers with sick leave policies that meet the bills’ standards would not be required to change their policies.
- Employers would be permitted to require workers to provide documentation supporting any sick leave absences lasting longer than three consecutive days.
Since 2004, similar legislation has been introduced in Congress multiple times but never obtained sufficient support for passage, primarily because of the cost to employers. It is not clear that the present Healthy Families Act has the necessary support for passage. Foley will follow this legislation closely and provide updates in future editions of our Legal News: Employment Law Update.
This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney.
This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary.
The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites.
In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.