COVID-19, Economic Opportunity, News, Policy Updates

The Fight for Paid Leave Continues in 2021

by WREN Staff on Jan 5, 2021

As of January 1st, while still in the middle of a public health emergency, Congress decided that emergency paid leave is no longer mandatory in the United States. 87 million workers have lost their guaranteed emergency leave amidst the worsening public health crisis and continued school closures. 

Rather than extending the requirement for employers to provide emergency paid sick leave and paid family leave, the new COVID-19 relief package allows employers and self-employed individuals to claim tax credits for voluntarily provided emergency paid leave that is provided through March 31, 2021. That means American workers must rely on their employers’ goodwill to get the time off that they need to care for themselves and their families.  

Denying paid leave to American workers is shortsighted and immoral. Paid leave policies have been shown to be effective in reducing the spread of COVID.  The denial of paid leave negatively affects all of us, but particularly women, who do most of the caregiving in our society, and who are being pushed out of the workforce in droves because they cannot afford to work and care for their children under these circumstances.” 

Paid leave policies have been shown to be effective in reducing the spread of COVIDThe sick leave provision in FFCRA significantly flattened the curve of COVID-19 cases in the early months of the pandemic by averting approximately 400 cases per day in states that previously did not guarantee sick leave. 

So what is next?  

We call on Congress and the incoming Biden administration to swiftly renew these critical protections and expand them to cover all workers as soon as possible in the new year. Call (202) 224-3121 to contact your member of Congress. 

Here in South Carolina, we will continue to push for paid leave at the General Assembly, because no one should have to choose between their health and their financial security. In a 2020 poll of likely voters, WREN found that 90% of South Carolinians support paid family leave. This bipartisan majority of voters indicated that policies related to the economic well-being of families should be a legislative priority. 

To show your support for paid leave sign our petition- 

« Back to Blog