Workforce Development

Fact Sheet on Paid Sick and Family Medical Leave in the United States

July 11, 2014  • Economic Opportunities Program

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Today, the United States lacks federal legislation to guarantee paid leave for personal or family illness or the birth of a new child, which forces millions of working Americans to choose between earning a paycheck or caring for themselves and their loved ones. In several states and localities throughout the nation, there is growing momentum towards providing guaranteed paid sick days and paid family and medical leave. As the nation looks towards policies and practices that will strengthen the middle class, this momentum is fueling debate about the provision of paid sick and family medical leave at the national level. Updating labor standards to include earned paid sick days as well as paid family and medical leave would likely have far-reaching benefits for working families, businesses, the economy and the public’s health.

This fact sheet was released in conjunction with our Working in America event, Time to Care: A Discussion on Improving Paid Leave Policies for Workers, Businesses, and Our Economy.