PITTSBURGH, May 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) union today applauded Pennsylvania Rep. Dan Miller's introduction of Pennsylvania House Bill 2495, calling for expanded emergency sick leave provisions in the wake of the deadly coronavirus.
The state legislation would close dangerous loopholes in the federal government's Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which extends paid sick leave to some Americans but leaves out workers at companies employing 500 or more people.
"In this uncertain time, workers are putting their lives on the line to keep our communities healthy and safe," said USW District 10 Director Bobby "Mac" McAuliffe. "Excluding some of them from basic, common-sense protections based on where they work or how big their employer is, is simply unacceptable."
Shoring up deficiencies in national legislation will also help protect vulnerable communities and limit transmission of the disease, as fewer workers feel pressure to come to work sick, either out of financial necessity or because they fear retaliation from their employers, McAuliffe said.
"Our union fights for paid leave and other health and safety provisions for our members, but all workers deserve these protections, especially now," said McAuliffe. "Rep. Miller's bill reflects this need. We urge the Pennsylvania General Assembly to quickly pass this badly needed legislation and Gov. Wolf to sign it into law."
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.