Congressman Mike Levin proposes emergency paid sick leave for workers amid coronavirus crisis

Posted at 10:03 AM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 13:03:47-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A San Diego-based congressman is cosponsoring a proposed bill that would require employers to provide paid sick leave to workers who may have to stay home as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Rep. Mike Levin, a Democrat who represents the California’s 49th District, is proposing the legislation.

“The concept is simple: We want people to stay home if they’re feeling sick so they don’t spread the coronavirus or other illnesses, but not everyone can afford to do that. Many families live paycheck to paycheck, struggling to pay their bills each month. Taking unpaid sick leave simply isn’t an option for them. With the severity of the crisis we’re facing, we cannot force working people to choose between going to work and spreading their illness to others or staying home and getting behind on their bills,” Levin said.

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According to Levin’s office, the bill would require all employers to:

-- Allow workers to gradually earn seven days of paid sick leave
-- Provide an additional 14 days of paid sick leave, available immediately at the beginning of a public health emergency, including the current coronavirus crisis
-- Ensure paid sick leave covers days when your child’s school is closed due to a public health emergency, when your employer is closed due to public health emergency, or if you or a family member is quarantined or isolated due to a public health emergency

Levin’s proposal builds on the Healthy Families Act and would be enforced immediately in the event of a public health emergency.

Levin said, “As we confront the coronavirus epidemic, one thing is clear: Everyone should follow the CDC’s recommendations to stay healthy and safe. That means staying home if you’re feeling sick. If we want people to follow that important guidance though, we must make it economically viable to do so.”