7 August 2008

Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act 2008 HIA

On July 30, 2008, Human Impact Partners and researchers at the San Francisco Department of Public Health jointly released the study - a Health Impact Assessment - of proposed legislation that would guarantee all workers in the state at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked (also termed the Paid Sick Days HIA).

The legislation, the Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act of 2008 (AB 2716), has passed in the State Assembly and is currently being considered by the State Senate. It appears be one of the first such studies of a state-level labor policy.

A Health Impact Assessment of the California Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act of 2008 finds that "substantial evidence indicates that the law would have significant positive public health impacts for workers and for all Californians." The study further documents evidence showing that guaranteed paid sick days for all workers would help:
  • Reduce the spread of flu;
  • Protect the public from diseases carried by sick workers in restaurants and in nursing homes;
  • Enable workers to stay home when they need to care for a sick dependent; and
  • Prevent hunger and homelessness among low-income workers with severe illnesses.
The study also finds that workers with the greatest needs for paid sick days, such as those whose children have asthma or other chronic diseases or are low-wage workers, are those that frequently do not have the benefit.

There was extensive press coverage of the HIA and the proposed law, in print and radio media, include major California newpapers and on NPR. The HIA has contributed to framing of the paid sick days laws as health policy.

To access the summary or the full report, visit: http://humanimpact.org/PSD/

Courtesy of Rajiv Bhatia