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In a pandemic, US workers who do not have paid medical leave cannot afford sick leave.US news – News


TThe coronavirus pandemic is fueling the demand for American workers to be given paid sick leave at work. Not only are key workers infected with the coronavirus, but they are at risk of losing two weeks of income if they are positive for the virus.

Workers in the United States receive far fewer holidays than workers in other major developed countries. Work an average of 4-8 hours or more per week Than the average European worker. Over 32 million workers In the United States, there are no paid sick leave before the pandemic, and low-wage workers Unlikely Paying other benefits such as sick leave or health insurance.

Esperanza Jimenez, the caretaker of an office cleaner in the Miami area, lives with her son and three daughters and relies on her income to send money to her 90-year-old mother in Nicaragua.

While working as an essential worker during the pandemic, Jimenez was infected with Covid-19 in late December 2020 and spent several days in the hospital. She was not covered by her employer for sick leave while she was ill at work. Exemption From federal paid leave requirements.

“I was worried about my bill. It doesn’t matter if you’re sick, you still have to pay the bill,” Jimenez said. “When I left the hospital, I was still feeling these terrible muscle aches, these terrible headaches and throat hoarseness throughout my body, but they gave me money for my holidays. I can’t miss my job because I’m not going to pay. “

Government actions such as the Care Act and the American Rescue Planning Act have extended paid sick leave to millions of workers in the United States, but paid leave advocates and workers are now a permanent solution. I’m looking for a plan. The United States is the only major country in the world No federal paid leave policy.

“That’s what we should have done years ago,” said Paid Leave for All, a campaign for several organizations advocating federal paid leave policies for medical and family issues. Dawn Huckelbridge said.

“The pandemic focused on what the crisis was causing. When the pandemic broke out, we weren’t ready and one of the first things Congress did was Knowing that it would save lives and work, we enforced a temporary paid leave law. “

Veronica Gonzales has two jobs. One works at Taco Bell and the other works at Jack in the Box, a fast food chain in Alameda, California. Due to the pandemic, she had to fight to get paid leave for quarantine while her son was hospitalized in Covid-19, and recently got a job due to illness.

“The work during the pandemic was very stressful for us,” Gonzales said. “We have to work. We have to be paid and we can’t help being paid.”

Campaign Worker, Small business owner Activists in parliament path The battle between federal paid leave policy and the establishment of paid leave at the local level.

Nija Phelps in Milford, Connecticut participated in the campaign after she and her husband had to move to Michigan in 2013 to take care of their mother-in-law who had quit her job and was recovering from her heart. .. Surgery. Neither had paid leave to maintain work and income.

“Life was just floating in the air. I really didn’t know what would happen. As she got stronger, we felt better about it, but it was hard for us all,” Phelps said. Said. “It’s scary that employers and governments don’t help. It’s cruel, not just because other countries have been doing it for decades, but also viable plans and many other plans. It’s really unnecessary because you can make it work just because it’s there. The state has adopted it. “

Paid leave policy passed California, New York, Washington, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Colorado, Oregon, District of Columbia, and local ordinances passed In cities and counties around the United States.

Angel Maldonado, a public transport guard Paid sick leave Provided to contract county officials in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

In 2018, he had to return to work shortly after surgery for prostate cancer. He wore a catheter for two months at work, which often leaked. He is currently undergoing back surgery and cannot live without income, so he is worried that he may have to return to work while he is still recovering.

“The situation was very difficult. I’m the only one working at home, and my retired and disabled wife depends on me,” Maldonado said. “It’s not fair. We are humans and have biological needs like everyone else.”

In a pandemic, US workers who do not have paid medical leave cannot afford sick leave.US news

Source link In a pandemic, US workers who do not have paid medical leave cannot afford sick leave.US news

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