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Paid Sick Days Are Already Winning in 2016

Christine Sloane | January 11, 2016

2016 is off to a good start for many workers who used to lack access to paid sick days. On January 1, Oregon’s statewide paid sick days bill took effect. The following week, on January 6, a paid sick days law in the most recent New Jersey city to pass such a measure – New Brunswick – also took effect. And today, thanks to the hard work of the Spokane Alliance and its partners, Spokane, Wash., passed a paid sick days ordinance.

Spokane’s ordinance was approved by the City Council by a vote of 6-1 – a majority strong enough to override Mayor Condon’s expected veto. Once approved, the measure will allow workers employed at businesses with 10 or more employees to earn up to five paid sick days per year. Those who work at smaller businesses would be able to earn up to three days paid sick days per year.

But that’s not all for Washington. The day before the Spokane victory, a statewide ballot initiative that would raise the state’s minimum wage and allow all workers to accrue one hour of sick and safe leave for every 40 hours worked was filed in Olympia. The Raise Up Washington coalition is now working to collect enough signatures to qualify the measure for the November 2016 ballot.

This is exciting progress and there are many more paid sick days and family friendly workplace laws set to take effect this year. A full list is available here. Meanwhile, active paid sick days campaigns continue in Vermont, Maryland, the cities of Minneapolis, Minn., and San Diego, Calif., and elsewhere. Stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks.

To learn more, get involved, or connect with campaign leads and organizers, contact Christine Sloane.

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