Federal Paid Sick Days

At a Glance:

Location: United States

Date: 2009

Vital Condition: Meaningful Work and Wealth

Determinants of Health: employment, meaningful work and wealth, employment

Affected Population: People Living in Poverty, People with Chronic and Multiple Chronic Health Conditions, Workers and Employees

Research Methods: Literature review, Quantitative research, Focus Groups, Survey

Community Types:

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The HIA addressed the federal Healthy Families Act of 2009 and was a continuation of the work completed as part of a similar HIA in California. The bill would have entitled all employees to accrue paid sick time at a rate of no less than one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to nine days per year. An employee would be entitled to use accrued time for diagnosis, care or treatment of health conditions of the employee or an employee’s family member; or for leave related to domestic violence or sexual assault. The pathways and health issues explored include, the spread of communicable diseases, such as influenza and stomach flu, through workers at restaurants, schools and nursing homes; the impacts of loss of salary and employer retaliation for missing work on income and stress; and the potential effects on rates of emergency room use and delayed medical care. The HIA recommended passing the bill, but limiting the exceptions given to small businesses.


The HIA helped shift the policy debate to include health outcomes. For example, an author of the HIA was invited to address a House of Representatives sub-committee regarding the health impacts of the bill.

This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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