As the COVID-19 spreads throughout the United States, one of the important health advice is as simple as – stay at home if you are feeling sick .
Most workers have access to paid sick leave , but 24% of US civilian workers approximately 33.6 million people do not have access to sick leave. (according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Civilian workers” refers to private industry workers and state and local government workers combined)
The bureau’s 2019 National Compensation Survey (NCS) found that paid sick leave is almost 100% available for upper wage distribution but gets scarce towards the lower wage distribution. For the lower income workers , those who earn $10.80 or less , 31% get paid sick leave.
Paid sick leave is much more common in the public sector than the private sector. Paid sick leave in the US varies by occupation
Paid sick leave benefit is available to 43% of part-time civilian workers in comparison to 86% of full time workers. 93% of unionized workers have access to paid sick leave in comparison to 73% of non union workers. 4.2 million civilian workers have access to unlimited paid sick leave. Such plans are common in occupations like management , business and financial workers, construction and maintenance workers.
Democrats and the White House pushed for paid sick leave, because it allows workers who are sick or quarantined the ability to stay home without losing their paycheck. Paid sick leave will encourage sick workers to stay home if they feel sick. This is very important to curb the spread of the virus like washing hands. Possible tax relief is also being discussed to help hourly workers.
Unions and workers are condemning the loop hole in the coronavirus bill for big companies. The law will not be mandatory to companies with 500 or more employees, which means about 59 million peopleworking for big businesses will not receive its protections. The bill allows the labor department to exclude any company that has 50 or fewer employees from some of the provisions. In all, a majority of the American workers approximately 80% of the workers will not benefit from the bill. The bill includes a tax credit to cover the cost of the additional paid leave.