PRESS STATEMENT: Paid Sick Days Bill: Good Policy and Popular with Voters

Paid Sick Days Bill: Good Policy and Popular with Voters

COLOR urges lawmakers to approve the ability for all Coloradans to earn paid sick days to support the needs of families, improve health outcomes and strengthen the economy.   

(Denver, CO) – Statement by Karla Gonzales Garcia, Program and Policy Director of Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR): 

“People of color are over-represented in low wage jobs that offer few workplace protections or benefits and where people are too often denied a living wage. This means we are put in an impossible position where we have to choose between the health of a loved one and our paycheck ― the money we need to pay rent, buy food, and meet our basic needs. 

That is why we are thrilled to support Senate Bill 205, which would allow people in Colorado to earn paid sick leave, so they can take time off to care for their own health needs or the health needs of a family member. Now more than ever, we need to take an important, concrete step to support women and families.  

More than half of the Latinx community lack access to any paid time off from work when they are ill or need to care for a loved one.  Without the ability to take a paid sick cay, it can be difficult for people to care for their children and still be successful at work. This doesn’t just hurt individuals and families, but it also hurts the economy.

So many Coloradans are struggling more than ever to make ends meet. We need to do more to ensure that families are cared for and that businesses can thrive.  This legislation is such an important step to trying to achieve that important balance – what the economy needs and what people need. 

There is HUGE support for a paid sick days proposal that would cover every worker. Recent polling found that nearly four in five Coloradans support requiring employers to provide paid sick days for all employees to care for their own health needs or those of a family member.   

This makes it both the right thing to do and something with strong public support. So what are we waiting for? We need to advance this proposal now and make sure families know that if they or a loved one get sick, it won’t be made worse by lost wages. 

Families that can’t earn paid sick days are twice as likely to send their child to school sick. They are more likely to go to work sick. They are less likely to go to the doctor and seek preventative care, and kids are more likely to get check-ups and flu shots. The Latinx community already faces huge obstacles to getting healthcare and disparities in access to services. We don’t need the additional barriers that force us to choose between the care we need and caring for ourselves and our families.  

I do not want to live in a state where how much money you make or have in the bank determines whether you can be there for your child or your parent when they need you or take a day or two to get heal if you’re sick.  We all deserve to have the ability to care for our families and be healthy without the fear of putting our families in debt or not being able to make ends because we were forced to take a sick day without any pay.” 

Karla Gonzales Garcia is available for interview upon request. 

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