SPRINGFIELD – Nearly 45 percent of private sector workers in Illinois do not receive a single paid sick day. For these workers, it can only take one life event, whether it be a car accident, a sick child or a family emergency, to cause long-term financial pain and in some cases even job loss.
In response to this reality, State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) passed a proposal out of the Senate Executive Committee this afternoon that would make Illinois the sixth state in the nation to require some form of paid sick time.
“Far too many Illinois workers are living paycheck to paycheck unable to afford taking just one day off,” State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said. “We’re an outlier when you look at every other industrialized country in the world.”
Hutchinson’s plan, contained in Senate Bill 2147, would provide up to seven paid sick days per year to full-time and part-time employees, accruing an hour at a time for every 30 hours worked. While the proposal would greatly benefit workers currently without paid sick leave, businesses would also benefit.
Numerous studies have shown the direct benefit offering workers paid sick leave has on employers, including a workforce that is overall healthier and more productive. A lack of paid sick time is even a public health concern.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the norovirus is the leading cause of illness and outbreaks from contaminated food in the United States. A majority of these outbreaks occur from restaurants when sick workers handle food and beverages and infect their customers.
Senate Bill 2147 recently passed the Senate Executive Committee, and now heads to the Senate floor for further debate.