DeLauro pushes for paid sick leave at national level

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, whose district includes a part of Shelton, has introduced legislation to require large employers to provide paid sick leave to their workers.

The earned paid sick leave could be used by employees when they are sick, to care for a sick family member, to obtain preventive care, or to address the impacts of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault.

“Everyone should be able to take care of themselves and their families when they are sick without having to worry about losing their jobs,” said DeLauro, a Democrat in her 13th term.

“The United States is the only developed country that does not require employers to offer paid sick days," she said.

DeLauro said she is “proud that my home state of Connecticut was the first in the nation to pass a paid sick days law, back in 2011. Since then it has spread to California, Massachusetts and nearly 20 cities. We need to take it national.”

Could earn up to seven paid days

The Healthy Families Act, being introduced by DeLauro and a fellow Democrat, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, would allow workers in businesses with at least 15 employees to earn up to 56 hours — or seven days — of job-protected paid sick leave each year.

Workers would earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.

Unpaid benefit at smaller firms

People working in a business with fewer than 15 employees would be able to earn up to seven job-protected days of unpaid sick leave annually.

Employers that already provide paid sick time will not have to change their current policies, as long as they meet the minimum standards outlined in the Healthy Families Act. Employers can also require workers to provide documentation supporting any request for leave longer than three consecutive days.

Been introduced in the past

DeLauro has introduced the Healthy Families Act in the U.S. House during every Congress since 2004.

“The Healthy Families Act is smart policy that needs to become law,” said DeLauro, the senior Democrat on the subcommittee responsible for funding the departments of Labor, and Health and Human Services.

According to Murray, “No one should ever have to choose between their health, or a loved one’s health, and their economic security, but our outdated policies are forcing too many workers to make that kind of choice.”

Shelton has two congressional districts

DeLauro represents the Third Congressional District, which includes a part of Shelton and most of the greater New Haven region. She lives in New Haven and was first elected in 1990.

Part of Shelton is in the Fourth Congressional District, represented by Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Himes of Greenwich. Himes was first elected in 2008. His district includes most of Fairfield County.