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As Coronavirus Spreads, Time for Cities and States to Act on Sick Leave

Fielding School Distinguished Professor Dr. Jody Heymann and the WORLD Policy Analysis Center contributed an op-ed article to InsideSources addressing the need for states and cities to take action on sick leave policy as COVID-19 spreads.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

On March 11, the Senate blocked a proposal to provide Americans with two weeks of emergency paid sick leave.

While similar proposals have come before Congress for decades, as the threat of coronavirus escalates, federal lawmakers’ longstanding failure to act has become more consequential than ever.

Because of this inaction, the U.S. has fallen behind the rest of the world — our data shows that we’re now one of just 6 percent of countries globally without paid sick days. A national policy remains critical, but we can’t afford to wait: The time is now for states and cities to lead on leave.