Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children
Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Today’s post about earned paid sick time was written by guest blogger Nicole Rodriguez, a policy analyst at MassBudget (the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center). Next week on Election Day, voters can weigh in on this issue by voting “Yes” or “No” on Ballot Question 4.

As National Work and Family Month draws to a close, we are reminded that many families are struggling to balance the demands of work and caregiving responsibilities.

Nearly all workers experience family illness, personal health issues, or the need to care for a sick child. Yet many workers lack access to earned paid sick time.

In Massachusetts about 1 in 3 workers don’t have access to earned paid sick time. And those least likely to have it are the lowest wage workers. This is particularly

significant for working women, since they are often the primary caregiver and have fewer resources to help manage work and family.again

The commonwealth’s low-income families face particular challenges in balancing work and family. In Massachusetts, the statewide child poverty rate remains stubbornly high and access to affordable child care is limited. On top of that, the state lacks the critical work protection policies of earned paid sick leave and paid family leave that enable families to thrive.

Several cities and states have recently passed earned paid sick time laws, and many more are considering these proposals in order to help working families balance work and family obligations. These laws support families in important ways:

Earned paid sick time is a common sense strategy that can help all families balance work and family.