Sen. Duckworth, Durbin request reinstatement of COVID-19 emergency paid sick and family leave
WASHINGTON, D.C. (KFVS) - Both U.S. Illinois Senators have signed a letter requesting the Biden Administration and House and Senate leaders to reinstate and expand emergency COVID-19 paid sick and family caregiving leave.
The request comes after the recent spike in COVID-19 cases blamed on the highly contagious omicron variant.
Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin joined 13 other Democrat Senators in sending the letter.
The Senators want the reinstatement of the benefits in the FY22 bill or in future COVID-19 relief packages and to remain in place for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Congress must pass a guaranteed emergency paid sick and family leave program immediately for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Senators wrote. “In order for the nation to continue recovering from the pandemic, we need people who are sick to be able to stay home to curb the spread of the virus. Furthermore, caregivers need the ability to stay home to care for a loved one. Americans need to be confident they can do these things and still keep their jobs so they can provide for their families.”
Their request also wants the benefits to apply to workers in businesses of all sizes, provide a minimum of ten days of paid sick and family caregiving leave and be accompanied by tax credits to help businesses cover costs.
Under a plan passed by Congress at the beginning of the pandemic, Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), guaranteed paid sick and caregiving leave was approved for workers at businesses with fewer than 500 workers.
The plan did not cover all workers.
According to a released joint statement from Duckworth and Durbin, approximately 22 million workers nationwide were covered under FFCRA, which allowed them to to stay home while sick without losing a paycheck or their job, and prevented approximately 15,000 cases of COVID-19 per day nationwide.
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