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Newark’s Earned Sick Days Law Would Improve Public Health, Reduce Costs

Providing earned sick days is expected to save Newark employers more than $4 million per year, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). The city’s proposed earned sick days legislation, “Workers Sick Leave Ordinance,” would reduce costs to employers in Newark, and decrease the spread of contagious illnesses yielding further public health costs savings.
Dec 17, 2013

Washington, DC—Providing earned sick days is expected to save Newark employers more than $4 million per year, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). The city’s proposed earned sick days legislation, “Workers Sick Leave Ordinance,” would reduce costs to employers in Newark, and decrease the spread of contagious illnesses yielding further public health costs savings.

Of the over 113,900 private sector workers in Newark, about 27,000 currently have no paid leave of any kind, and are eligible to receive earned sick days under the proposed new legislation.

“Earned sick days are an inexpensive, but important basic workplace benefit that help workers care for themselves and their families, and access health services,” said Barbara Gault, Vice President and Executive Director of IWPR.

Earned sick days can reduce business and public health costs by cutting down on the spread of disease at work, helping employers avoid paying for low productivity, reducing nursing-home stays and norovirus outbreaks in nursing homes, and preventing unnecessary hospital emergency department visits.

IWPR’s analysis of government statistics finds that workers typically take fewer paid sick days than they earn. When workers in large businesses receive a maximum of five days off work for earned sick days, they miss an average of 1.3 days annually for illness and injury, excluding maternity leave. About half of all workers who are covered by earned sick days policies do not take any days off for illness or injury in a given year.

The Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies.

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