President Calls For Paid Sick Leave For All American Workers

By Eric B. Meyer

In an announcement made late Wednesday on LinkedIn, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, posted that President Obama will call upon Congress today to pass the Healthy Families Act.

I’ve blogged about the Healthy Families Act before here. Essentially, the Healthy Families Act would require companies with 15 or more employees to permit each employee to earn at least one (1) hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.

What sick time could be used for

Employees could then use this accrued sick time to:

  1. Meet their own medical needs;
  2. Care for the medical needs of certain family members (including a domestic partner or the domestic partner’s parent or child); or,
  3. Seek medical attention, assist a related person, take legal action, or engage in other specified activities relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Many states and cities already have paid sick leave laws. And, of course, many companies provide paid sick leave voluntarily. The Healthy Families Act would not be cumulative. Rather, it would set a floor for qualifying American businesses.

Article Continues Below

Additionally, President Obama will sign a Presidential Memorandum to provide federal employees with six (6) weeks of paid sick leave after childbirth.

Without using the word “Socialist,” I’m curious to hear what you think about the government’s push for paid sick leave. Let me know in the comments below.

This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.

You know that scientist in the action movie who has all the right answers if only the government would just pay attention? Eric B. Meyer, Esq. gets companies HR-compliant before the action sequence. Serving clients nationwide, Eric is a Partner at FisherBroyles, LLP, which is the largest full-service, cloud-based law firm in the world, with approximately 210 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide. Eric is also a volunteer EEOC mediator, a paid private mediator, and publisher of The Employer Handbook (, which is pretty much the best employment law blog ever. That, and he's been quoted in the British tabloids. #Bucketlist.


3 Comments on “President Calls For Paid Sick Leave For All American Workers

  1. You don’t need to use the word Socialist… I will. This President is a Socialist. Approaching another State of the Union, he is pandering to the ill-informed recommending giving things away he has absolutely no right to do. Recommending failed policy after failed policy emulating European countries that have already gone down this road and now on the brink of collapse. I can only hope that SHRM and the Chamber of Commerce and their lobbying groups, along with HR professionals, fight this hard.

  2. You should avoid using the word “socialist” because it’s evident from your lamely-deployed paralipsis not only that you’re trolling for argument, but also that you haven’t the first clue what “socialism” is. It’s patently evident from the history of this Administration that there’s not a socialist anywhere in the Executive Branch. Moreover, it’s plainly evident to anyone paying attention that Obama is a lame duck and that this proposal is a complete non-starter.

    Had you wanted to discuss the relative merit of government support for sick leave, you’d at least have attempted to frame arguments more intelligently than this. Instead, you’ve revealed yourself to be just another partisan hack. Congratulations, though, you got your blog published and got some eyeballs on it. Good job!

  3. Seems like a bad idea. However you want to label it, this proposal is reflective of a
    leaning towards community ownership and control of the means of production
    – capital, land, or property– and administration in the interests of all. This promise of a perfect community has the character of a secular religion and stands in contrast to individualism on which this country was founded and has continued to prosper. The U.S. Constitution is based on the premise of self-governance, where government exists to serve the individual and the pursuit of her own satisfactions, including enterprise. The Federal government has no more natural right to specify the administration of sick leave, a property that is owned by a group of individuals, than I have to tell you what color you must paint your kitchen table. Our government was not created to regulate the economic life of society, which this policy would in part attempt to do. The fact that some businesses already voluntarily offer these benefits highlights what they’ve experienced to be a competitive advantage. These businesses will continue to influence others to follow suit to compete or lose out in the pursuit and retention of talented potential workers. This voluntary competition has and will continue to be a far more powerful force in shaping a prosperous economy for all stakeholders. Applying government force to strip away their competitive advantage and force all companies to do the same is not authorized by our Constitution.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *