As national organizations that advocate for creating more equitable policies for young workers, we call on Congress to enact federal legislation that guarantees employers will provide paid sick leave. The outbreak of Covid-19 heightens the need for immediate action as the United States remains one of the few developed nations without a national guarantee of paid time off. Roughly 25% of Americans have no paid sick days. These workers are disproportionally made up of young adults, people of color and low-income individuals in lower-wage occupations. According to the Center for Law and Social Policy and Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of low-wage and part-time workers lack access to paid sick days. These workers cannot afford to take time off when sick, or to stay home during disease-related quarantines.
It is imperative that Congress take-action immediately to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in marginalized communities. We can strengthen our most vulnerable communities and equip families with the tools to live longer and healthier lives ONLY if Congress prioritizes the overall health of United States residents, their well-being and increased security. Ensuring that all workers have the option to take paid sick leave removes the lingering issue millions of Americans will have to face should the Coronavirus spread into their communities: their health or their livelihoods.
We have lagged behind for too long, and now risk falling behind. We call on Congress to act now to guarantee paid sick leave for all workers.
National Youth Employment Coalition
Forum for Youth Investment
Center for Law and Social Policy