Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall) and five of his fellow Democrats introduced legislation this week creating the Earned Sick Time Act.
Senate Bill 528 (SB 528) creates the Earned Sick Time Act in order to allow all employees to earn sick time at a rate of one hour per forty hours worked to be used in case of illness to themselves or a family member.
“Over 225,000 hardworking West Virginians do not have access to a single earned sick day,” says Kessler. “They go to work in order to avoid having their pay docked, and people who come to work sick put their coworkers and customers at risk of infection. That’s wrong.”
The purpose of the bill is to ensure that all workers in West Virginia can address their own health and safety needs and the health and safety needs of their families by requiring employers to provide a minimum amount of earned sick time, including time for the care of family member.
Senator Bob Beach (D-Monongalia), co-sponsor of the bill, says government officials advise us to stay home, or keep our children at home, during outbreaks; however, workers without paid sick days don’t have that option and we all risk getting sick as a result.
“Enacting a paid sick leave policy would make West Virginia’s families stronger, our work places healthier and improve the well-being of all children,” says Beach. “No worker should ever have to choose between their job and their health, or the health of family members.”
Bill sponsors include Senators Ron Miller (D-Greenbrier), Bill Laird (D-Fayette), Herb Snyder (D-Jefferson) and Jack Yost (D-Brooke).
SB 528 has been referred to the Committees on Labor, Judiciary and Finance.