Congress and US DOL using H1N1 scare to push for mandatory paid sick leave.
Look out employers, the Deputy Secretary of Labor, Seth Harris, gave a testimony on November 10th, 2009, to a Senate Subcommittee pushing for mandatory paid sick leave. Using the national concern over the H1N1 flu, the Deputy Secretary explained the US DOL strongly supports the Healthy Families Act of 2009. Highlights of the Healthy Families Act include:
· Paid time of to care for yourself, child, spouse, parent, or any other individual related by blood of affinity; or absence resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking
· employees accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for each 30 worked, no exceptions for part time workers
· mandatory carry over, however a cap of 56 hours of sick leave accrued at any given time may be used
· physician certification can only be requested if leave is greater than 3 consecutive days, employees have 30 days to provide certification
· severe penalties will be accessed for discharging, discriminating or using the taking of paid sick time as a negative factor in employment action (such as hiring, promoting or disciplinary action)
Remarks Prepared for Delivery by U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis – Testimony of Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth Harris’ before the Subcommittee on Children and Families Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, United States Senate, Washington, DC, November 10, 2009