March 10, 2020

Rep. Mike Levin Cosponsors Emergency Paid Sick Leave Legislation for Workers Facing Coronavirus

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Rep. Levin spoke on the House floor to highlight the importance of paid sick leave.

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) cosponsored legislation this week to provide paid sick leave to workers who may need to stay home due to the coronavirus epidemic. The bill, which was originally introduced by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), builds off of the Healthy Families Act and requires all employers to allow workers to accrue seven days of paid sick leave and to provide an additional 14 days immediately in the event of any public health emergency, including the current coronavirus epidemic.

Rep. Levin spoke on the House floor to highlight the importance of this legislation:

“As we confront the coronavirus epidemic, one thing is clear: Everyone should follow the CDC’s recommendations to stay healthy and safe. That means staying home if you’re feeling sick. If we want people to follow that important guidance though, we must make it economically viable to do so. That’s why I rise today in support of critical legislation introduced by Congresswoman DeLauro to ensure that working families receive paid sick leave in the event of a public health emergency like the coronavirus epidemic.

“The concept is simple: We want people to stay home if they’re feeling sick so they don’t spread the coronavirus or other illnesses, but not everyone can afford to do that. Many families live paycheck to paycheck, struggling to pay their bills each month. Taking unpaid sick leave simply isn’t an option for them. With the severity of the crisis we’re facing, we cannot force working people to choose between going to work and spreading their illness to others or staying home and getting behind on their bills. I urge my colleagues to support Congresswoman DeLauro’s bill.”

The bill would:

  • Require all employers to allow workers to gradually earn seven days of paid sick leave.
  • Require all employers to provide an additional 14 days of paid sick leave, available immediately at the beginning of a public health emergency, including the current coronavirus crisis.
  • Ensure paid sick leave covers days when your child’s school is closed due to a public health emergency, when your employer is closed due to public health emergency, or if you or a family member is quarantined or isolated due to a public health emergency.

Last week, Rep. Levin helped pass the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020, which includes $8.3 billion in new federal funding to address the coronavirus epidemic. Earlier this year, Rep. Levin and his colleagues sent a letter calling on the CDC to distribute rapid diagnostic tests for the coronavirus as quickly as possible, and to prioritize states with confirmed cases of the virus to receive the first available test kits. Levin and his colleagues also wrote to the CDC asking for a briefing on the coronavirus, which they have received, and to the Orange County Health Care Agency to request information on how Congress can best support their efforts to prevent the virus’s spread.