Kaine pushes for paid sick leave amid coronavirus outbreak

Kaine pushes for paid sick leave amid coronavirus outbreak
Tim Kaine (Source: WVIR)

WASHINGTON D.C. (WWBT/AP) - As coronavirus continues to spread, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) cosponsored emergency paid sick leave legislation to provide mandatory paid sick days.

The legislation was introduced by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03).

“A public health crisis like the coronavirus underscores the urgent need to pass paid sick leave legislation. Workers deserve the flexibility to care for their health without fear of losing a paycheck,” said Kaine. “This legislation will help ensure that no American has to put their health – and the health of others in their community – at risk to keep their job.”

The emergency paid sick days legislation would require employers to allow employees to accrue seven days of paid sick time and provide an additional 14 days that would be immediately available in the event of a public health crisis, which would include the coronavirus outbreak.

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 a public health emergency, or if you or a family member is quarantined or isolated due to a public health emergency.

President Donald Trump has also pitched his proposed payroll tax break on Capitol Hill as pressure mounts on the administration and Congress to work more vigorously to contain the coronavirus outbreak and respond to the financial fallout.

Trump’s economic team joined in presenting the economic stimulus package privately to wary Senate Republicans. They’ve been cool to additional spending at this stage.

Democrats are preparing their own package of low-cost virus testing, unemployment insurance and sick pay for workers struggling to keep paychecks coming as the outbreak disrupts workplaces.

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