Paid sick leave is a true concern for many employees who receive hourly wages in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. According to The Washington Post, about a quarter of U.S. workers don’t have access to paid sick leave.Many of these workers come from underserved communities who are already battling the harsh effects of systemic oppression, hindering them from advancement and economic opportunities.
For decades wage rights activists have argued for paid sick leave and a fair living wage for workers who take jobs in customer-facing industries including retail, restaurant/fast food service, and janitorial/porter staff.
Giving up a day’s pay because of health concerns can break a household, causing many who work in the above-mentioned industries to show up to work ill. Because of their jobs, these workers also run a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus, which requires a two-week incubation period if diagnosed or if you have come in close contact with a carrier.
The response to the coronavirus from the U.S. government has caused serious concern in regards to timing and lack of resources. On Wednesday Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Act, which gives access to workers without paid leave and extends it for those who only have access to a few days. The bill, however, only applies to workers who have contracted COVID-19.
But there’s a lot of red tape regarding which employers will be mandated to change their sick leave polices and who will be able to continue their status quo. The bill will mostly affect mid-size employers, which leaves larger companies with more than 500 employees deferring to company policy, which again leaves a vast number of employees without pay.
Under the bill, employees would receive two weeks of paid sick leave at 100 percent of their normal salary (up to $511 per day). It would also provided up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave at 67 percent of the person’s regular pay ($200 per day).
Some of your most trusted companies are either passing or failing their workers. We rounded up some of the most popular companies to see how they’re faring out during this challenging time.