March 18, 2020

Duckworth, Durbin, Colleagues Introduce Updated Emergency Paid Leave Bill in Response to Coronavirus Pandemic


WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Patty Murray (D-WA), introduced the PAID Leave Act (Providing Americans Insured Days of Leave Act). The PAID Leave Act is a comprehensive emergency paid sick days and paid family and medical leave bill—fully funded by the federal government during the coronavirus emergency—to provide additional support to workers and businesses during the coronavirus outbreak and future public health emergencies.

“During this national public health crisis, no American should have to choose between a paycheck and going to work while sick or caring for a loved one who is ill,” said Duckworth. “It’s our job to do what we can to alleviate the fear of losing a paycheck and provide all workers with the emergency paid leave they deserve, which is one of the reasons why I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bill that will do just that.”

“No one should have to worry about missing a paycheck if they or a loved one becomes sick, especially during this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic. Our bill gives workers paid family leave for this crisis and creates a fairer system for paid sick leave in the event of future public health emergencies,” Durbin said.  

Because small businesses across the country continue to feel the effects of the public health crisis, the bill will fully and quickly reimburse employers for all paid sick days and paid leave in 2020 and 2021. In order to ensure that businesses do no need to wait for tax credits, the bill will only require employers to provide documentation to the Department of Labor (DOL) to demonstrate they paid out sick days or leave in order to receive reimbursement. After 2021, the bill would allow workers to accrue seven paid sick days and establish a self-sustaining family and medical leave insurance program for all workers.

For all employees and independent contractors, this bill would:

  • Provide 14 emergency paid sick days in the event of a public health emergency, including the current coronavirus crisis, reimbursed in full by the federal government.
  • Provide workers with 12 weeks emergency paid family and medical leave, fully reimbursed by the federal government.
  • Permanently ensure workers can accrue seven paid sick days.
  • Permanently enact a paid family and medical leave program (Senator Gillibrand’s and Representative Rosa DeLauro’s FAMILY Act).

The bill is being endorsed by: National Partnership for Women and Families, CLASP, Family Values at Work, Paid Leave for All, Center for American Progress, American Federation of Teachers.