Proposed legislation would secure two weeks of sick leave for health care, service industry workers

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A new bill aims to give two weeks of paid sick leave to full-time and part-time essential workers. It would apply to those who work in health care and service industries, some of which aren’t covered by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

This week, Rep. Tom Mehaffie introduced House Bill 2777. He’s calling on his fellow lawmakers to take quick action on it.

“Paid sick leave helps workers take care of their own health and protect customers, clients and coworkers from the potential spread of COVID-19,” said Mehaffie. “It is important to ensure our essential employees can continue to serve our communities, particularly the elderly, in a safe manner.”

This legislation comes as coronavirus cases continue to rise, and many workers are forced to choose between losing a paycheck and going to work while sick.

Advocates say while that federal legislation definitely helped, more than 3 million workers in Pennsylvania could be left out as a result of the law’s exemptions.

On top of that, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports a quarter of Pennsylvania’s essential workers make less than $30,000 a year, and two-thirds make less than PA’s household median income of $60,000, making those two weeks of paid sick leave essential for families to stay afloat.

Groups like SEUI Healthcare Pennsylvania have been pushing for this legislative change for months.

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