Paid sick days will strengthen families. Every family wants what’s best for their children, but without paid sick days, parents are often forced to choose between their family’s financial stability and their children’s health, and too many have no choice but to send a child to school sick or skip medical care. This proposal would make it easier for workers to be good employees and good parents—and will let children lead healthier lives, be more successful in school and be better prepared for the future. Seniors will also benefit when adult children can afford to take them to the doctor or care for them during an illness.
National and Vermont studies suggest that parents with paid sick days are significantly less likely to send a sick child to school. 32.4% of families in Vermont who had 3 or fewer paid sick days and no adult at home sent their child to school with what they judged to be significant illness.
When their parents are able to care for them at home, sick children get better sooner and reduce the risk of spreading the illness to their classmates.
For a low-income family without paid sick days, going just 3.5 days without wages is the equivalent to losing a month’s grocery budget.
Vermont parents with paid time off are 5 times more likely to take time off from work to care for a sick child and 15% more likely to have taken their child to the doctor’s within the past year.