May 22, 2020

RALEIGH, NC – A broad coalition of North Carolina organizations is calling on Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr to support the paid leave and paid sick days provisions of the HEROES Act. The NC Families Care Coalition, a coalition representing more than two dozen parent, health, faith, labor and other groups across the state, maintains that paid sick days and paid leave are essential policies to protect working people and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s unconscionable to send people back to work without supporting workers to stay home in the event that they become sick from Coronavirus,” Ana Pardo, NC Families Care Coalition Convener, said. “Paid sick days and paid leave for all working North Carolinians are simply non-negotiables if we are going to overcome this pandemic and start down the road to economic recovery.”

The federal emergency paid sick days and paid leave provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in March excluded many, including people working for companies with more than 500 employees, healthcare workers and first responders. According to recent analyses by the National Partnership for Women and Families and the NC Justice Center, the current federal provisions leave up to 3,175,199 NC workers – 58 to 83 percent of our state’s workforce – without access to these new federal protections. Those exclusions will hit women and workers of color disproportionately hard, as they are over-represented in frontline and essential occupations that lack employer-provided paid sick days and are exempt from the new federal protections. The HEROES Act, which passed the House in mid-May, would address those loopholes and ensure that many more working people have access to these benefits.

Read the full text of the letter below.