Lessons from Winning Paid Sick Days in Seattle

In September 2011, the City of Seattle adopted minimum standards for paid sick and safe leave, covering most people employed inside the city limits.

Beginning in September 2012, an estimated 150,000 people will newly have the right to earn time off with pay to attend to their own health needs, care for a sick family member, or deal with the consequences of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Thousands of additional workers who already have some paid leave benefits will gain greater access to paid sick days.

Many of the people who now must choose between going to work sick or losing a day’s pay are employed in restaurants, grocery stores, retail, and health care – putting all of us at risk.

The Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce led a successful campaign to pass the ordinance – and we learned a lot. Here are some of the key ingredients to winning policy change.

 

 

 

 

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