Illinois Sick Day Bill Makes Difference for Women
Illinois lawmakers have introduced the Healthy Workplace Act, a bill that would allow workers to accrue up to seven paid sick days a year.
Women still bear the brunt of caretaking responsibilities, and it is largely women who go without paid sick-days benefits. Female-dominated industries, including childcare and food service, are among the least likely to offer paid sick days, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families.
Nearly three-quarters of workers in those two industries don’t enjoy paid sick time. In fact, half of all working mothers, and two-thirds of low-income working mothers, report that they do not get paid when they take a day off to care for a sick child.
San Francisco was the first city to mandate paid sick days for their workers. The law went into effect in 2007. Four years later, in a survey of 727 employers, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that 6 out of 7 employers report no impact in profitability. While business opposition was strong before the law went into effect, two-thirds of employers now support the law.