For Immediate Release: March 12, 2020
NDWA Contact: Nidya Sarria-King, [email protected]
In response to the upcoming House of Representatives vote on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, National Domestic Workers Alliance executive director Ai-jen Poo issued this statement:
“Domestic workers, including home care workers, are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Every day, this workforce shows up to ensure the safety and well-being of the people most vulnerable to illness, including older people and people with chronic illnesses. They do this crucial work largely without affordable healthcare, job security or paid time off.
“That’s why the National Domestic Workers Alliance is supporting the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This bill would take a critical step forward in protecting workers, and stemming the spread of the Coronavirus, by allowing everyone to take time off if they’re sick, quarantined, or to care for someone they love, without putting their jobs and livelihood at risk. It also represents immense progress for domestic workers, because it has no exclusions based on employer-size, and many domestic workers are in one-on-one employment situations.
“For those without a safety net, a lost paycheck may mean missing rent or being unable to put food on the table. As we watch the current public health crisis unfold it is clear that ensuring all workers have the ability to take paid sick leave, whether or not there is a pandemic on the horizon, is absolutely essential. The House of Representatives must immediately approve this relief bill in its entirety.”
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act would require health insurance providers to cover testing for coronavirus. It would also establish a three-month medical leave for people who have tested positive for coronavirus, are under quarantine, and are not being paid by an employer for their time off.
Additionally, this act would require qualified employers to provide 14 continuous days of paid sick leave during a public health emergency, while also establishing a new permanent requirement allowing for up to seven paid sick days per year.
82 percent of domestic workers lack paid sick days , making them more likely to go to work sick or losing their financial stability if they don’t. According to the Home Economics Report, 25 percent of domestic workers fired from their jobs indicate their firing was due to their request to take time off, 22 percent were fired for actually taking time off, and 20 percent were discharged for missing work to take care of themselves or a family member.