DC's Paid Sick Leave Law: IWPR Recommends Thorough Assessment of Impact on Businesses and Workers

Sep 04, 2012, 16:03 ET from Institute for Women's Policy Research

WASHINGTON, Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a new briefing paper, the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) recommends that the District of Columbia undertake a comprehensive study of the effects of the city's paid sick leave law. The DC Auditor is required to submit a report on the impact of the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act on the private sector, specifically compliance with posting requirements and whether businesses are using staffing patterns to circumvent the law.  

IWPR recommends the Auditor go beyond the requirements and undertake an evaluation of the economic impact of the law by examining published economic data and conducting surveys of both workers and employers in the city. IWPR recommends the Auditor's report be supplemented by existing research.

Prior research finds that paid sick days can help to improve worker productivity while reducing the spread of disease and worker turnover rates.

"Research conducted by IWPR has found that providing workers with access to paid sick days is associated with better self-reported health, reduced health care costs, and improved productivity and reduced turnover on the job," said Kevin Miller, Senior Research Associate with IWPR and author of the briefing paper. "DC's law can serve as an example for other communities, helping to bring these benefits to more workers across the country."

If employers are hiring more temporary or short-term workers or terminating workers before they accrue paid sick leave, DC may not be realizing the full benefits of the law.

"Many DC businesses are providing paid sick days thanks to the DC law, but from our conversations with workers—from cooks to child care and medical providers—more needs to be done to ensure workers get their earned sick leave and don't come to work sick," said Ari Weisbard, Advocacy Manager with the DC Employment Justice Center (DCEJC).

IWPR experts and the author of the briefing paper, as well as employers and employees who have been affected by DC's paid sick leave policy are available for comment. Please contact Caroline Dobuzinskis at dobuzinskis@iwpr.org for more information.

The Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies. IWPR is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that also works in affiliation with the women's studies, public policy, and public administration programs at The George Washington University.

SOURCE Institute for Women's Policy Research