Mar 2, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Paid sick leave makes a comeback in new Biden plan

President Biden. Photo by Saul Loeb - Pool/Getty Images.

The Biden administration included paid sick leave provisions as part of its new COVID-19 preparedness plan, which calls for a raft of measures meant to manage the U.S. through its new "post-pandemic" era.

Why it matters: The emergency sick leave provisions passed in 2020 at the outset of the pandemic expired that year and weren't renewed— despite protests from worker advocates and at least one study that showed the policy reduced the spread of the virus.

Driving the news: The administration said Wednesday that it will work with Congress to provide paid sick leave to people who need to miss work due to COVID-19 or to care for a loved one who has the virus.

  • Paid leave advocates and Democratic lawmakers like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) have been pushing harder to reinstate emergency paid sick leave since the beginning of the year.
  • "This is an important acknowledgment of paid leave’s importance for public health and economic security in a pandemic or endemic—and why we need a permanent policy so workers and businesses are always prepared," said Dawn Huckelbridge, director of Paid Leave for All, a coalition of advocates.
  • "This will help families struggling right now."
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