Paid Sick Days Vote, 2/15

Paid Sick Days Vote, 2/15

The Travis County Democratic Party’s County Executive Committee adopted a resolution back in October, one endorsing universal paid sick days for employees.

This resolution was adopted with widespread support from all parts of Travis County. It sends a clear message: the Party stands with the people.

On February 15th, the Austin City Council will be meeting to vote on City ordinances regarding paid sick days. Please contact your City Council members and let them know you stand with labor and support paid sick days!

Full Text:
Adopted Paid Sick Days Resolution

Travis County Democratic Party
Resolution on Endorsing Paid Sick Time Policy

WHEREAS, Most workers in the city of Austin will at some time during each year need limited time off
from work to take care of their own health needs or the health needs of their family members; and,

WHEREAS, Earning paid sick time can have a positive effect on individuals and the public health of
Austinites by allowing workers a limited number of hours per year to care for themselves or a close
family member when illness strikes or medical needs arise; and,

WHEREAS, Providing workers time off for health or safety purposes can guarantee a healthier and more
productive workforce in Austin; and,

WHEREAS, Earning paid sick time can reduce recovery time, promote the use of regular medical
providers rather than hospital emergency departments, and reduce the likelihood of people spreading
illness to other members of the workforce and to the public; and,

WHEREAS, Access to paid sick time can also help decrease the likelihood that a worker will put off
needed care, and can reduce healthcare expenditures and increase the rates of preventive care among
workers and their children; and,

WHEREAS, Low-income workers are significantly less likely to have paid sick time than other members
of the workforce; and,

WHEREAS, In a study conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, approximately 37% of
workers in the city of Austin lack paid sick time; and,

WHEREAS, According to that same study, up to 70% of workers go without access to paid sick time in
jobs that require frequent contact with the public, like food preparation and personal care occupations,
which has important public health implications due to risk of contagion; and,

WHEREAS, Latino and Black workers in Austin are less likely to have paid sick time than workers in any
other racial or ethnic group, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research; and,

WHEREAS, People without paid sick time are 1.5 times more likely than people with paid sick time to go
to work with a contagious illness like the flu; and,

WHEREAS, According to the Public Welfare Foundation, parents who don’t have paid sick time are more
than twice as likely as parents with paid sick time to send a sick child to school or daycare, and five
times as likely to report taking their child or a family member to a hospital emergency room because
they were unable to take time off work during their regular work hours; and,

WHEREAS, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention found that workers with access to paid sick time were 28 percent less likely than
workers without access to paid sick time to be injured on the job; and,

WHEREAS, Many workers need time away from their jobs to care for their health after incidents
regarding sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner violence, and or to
find solutions, such as a restraining order or new housing, to avoid or prevent physical or sexual abuse;

WHEREAS, Survivors of domestic and sexual violence are often forced to lose days of paid employment
because of the violence they face; and,

WHEREAS, Paid sick time results in reduced worker turnover, which leads to reduced costs incurred
from advertising, interviewing and training new hires. Replacing workers can cost approximately 21%
of an employee’s annual compensation; and,

WHEREAS, 36 cities and 7 states have passed paid sick policies; and,

WHEREAS, According to a study conducted by the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy, 160
countries in the world guarantee their residents a continued income when they’re ill; and,

WHEREAS, The Democratic National Committee Party Platform includes supporting working families
through a commitment to “fight to allow workers the right to earn at least seven days of paid sick leave”;

WHEREAS, The Work Strong Austin coalition, a group of local nonprofits and small business owners,
have conducted needs assessments, policy research, interviews with other cities and stakeholders, and
held meetings since 2015 to advance the opportunity for Austinites to have access to paid sick time; and,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Travis County Democratic Party strongly supports earned
paid sick days for all workers; and,

FURTHERMORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Travis County Democratic Party calls for the City of Austin to
institute laws and rules mandating paid sick leave for all employees in the city; that this includes hourly
workers and individual subcontractors; and be it a provision in all contracts for labor the City of Austin
signs; and,

FURTHERMORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Travis County Democratic Party supports the Work Strong
Austin coalition in efforts to ensure a robust policy for private employers in Austin that is universal,
covering all types of workers and employers, and provides a variety of allowable uses, such as tending to an
ongoing medical condition, seeking preventative care, providing care for a family member or dependent,
and providing safe time to deal with a domestic violence or sexual assault incident; and,

FURTHERMORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Travis County Democratic Party encourages its precinct
chairs and members to participate in the City of Austin public stakeholder process to provide feedback
consistent with this resolution on the elements of a paid sick days policy.