Losing a day’s wages, or worse, a job, for keeping a sick child home from school or bringing an aging parent to the doctor undermines families’ ability cover the basics like groceries and rent—spending that keep local businesses and the economy moving. In Georgia, an estimated 878,000 people do not have access to family care days, to care for a loved one in need, forcing them to make the impossible choice between taking care of a sick loved one and keeping food on the table.
That’s why we need to pass the Family Care Act, (HB 290), which would enable people to use their earned sick time to care for loved ones.
“As a parent-mentor in a public school system, I work with families every day who do not have the option of witnessing the devastating impact that it can have when a parent is unable to use their sick time to care for their kids.”
-Kim Chester, Advocate with the GA Council on Developmental Disabilities, Cartersville, GA
Family Care Days will strengthen families and boost the economy:
- More often than we realize, people’s jobs are at risk when they need to care for a family member. Nationwide, 23 percent of workers have lost a job or been threatened with job loss for taking time to care for a personal or family illness.
- For many families, the loss of a few days’ wages can equal a month’s worth of groceries.
- The Family Care Act will help keep working people in their jobs, helping to reduce unemployment.
- Family Care Days strengthens economic security for working people and their families without requiring employers to provide any additional sick days.
Family Care Days will save Georgia money and strengthen public health:
- Parents with Family Care Days are less likely to send sick child to school, reducing the spread illness in the classroom.
- Parents without Family Care Days are five times more likely to take their child to the emergency room because they were unable schedule a doctor’s visits during normal work hours.
- Children and seniors recover from illness faster when cared for by family members, reducing the length of hospital stays by nearly a third, and improving long-term health.
- The Family Care Act will reduce health risks and control taxpayer-funded health costs.
Georgians strongly support the Family Care Act:
- Georgians across the political spectrum support the Family Care Act, and the bill has bipartisan support in the state legislature.
- In a 2013 poll of voters in seven counties, more than two out of three voters rated the Family Care Act as “important or extremely important.”
- The Family Care Act is supported by a broad and diverse coalition of economists, faith communities, small businesses, workers, parents, health professionals, and groups that advocate for women, children, seniors and the disabled.
- Similar measures have been passed in eight states as lawmakers and business owners nationwide recognize that these modest policies strengthen the economy.
“It makes good business sense to make sure our staff is taking care of their families’ needs. When basic needs are taken care of, they can concentrate on work and we can grow our business.”
- William Polk, Principal, RichardWittschiebeHand Architects
How can you get involved?
Support the Family Care Act by contacting your state legislator: Take Action!
Read the full text of the bill.