I’m a pediatric nurse at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. I feel fortunate to have a decent benefits package with adequate sick leave. When my daughter was hospitalized with pneumonia, I didn’t have to make the heartbreaking choice of going to work or taking care of her. Sadly, too many workers in Spokane are not so fortunate.
I have seen parents forced to leave their sick children alone at the hospital because they can’t afford to miss a day of work. Sometimes, parents spend sleepless nights with their ill children, and then must get up early to get to their jobs. This is not good for the children, the workers or the community.
Passing a high-quality earned paid sick leave policy makes good sense for the health of the entire community. It protects public health, lowers health care costs, and creates healthier workplaces. Restaurant employees, home health care workers and child care providers are among the most likely to have no access to paid sick leave for themselves or their loved ones despite having the greatest risk of spreading illness to the public.
The cost of providing sick leave is minimal compared with the benefits it offers the community.