Sen. Tammy Baldwin, along with other members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, co-sponsored a legislation for paid sick leave amid the national COVID-19 outbreak.
According to a press release from the Senate HELP Committee, the legislation was led by Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT, Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee.
Under the legislation, employers are required to let workers obtain seven days paid sick leave and 14 additional days if a public health emergency arises, which includes the coronavirus, according to the press release.
These additional 14 days would be available immediately at the beginning of a public health emergency according to the press release.
“As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, we should help ensure workers can take paid sick leave to protect themselves, their co-workers and their families,” Baldwin said in a press release. “No worker should have to choose between protecting their health, or paying their bills.”
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend sick people stay home from work, this can have major consequences for some people, according to Balwin’s press release.
According to the Senate HELP press release, the legislation builds off a previous legislation called the Healthy Families Act, which was first introduced by Murray and DeLauro in 2004.
March 4, Baldwin called for a “swift passage” of an emergency funding package to respond to COVID-19, according to a press release from Baldwin’s office. The package would allow Wisconsin to be eligible for at least $10.2 million in grant funding from the CDC.
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Universities around the U.S. are also attempting to respond to COVID-19 by cancelling classes, according to NPR. Currently, more than half a million students from over nine universities were affected by the cancellations.
Yesterday, University of Wisconsin cancelled all university-sponsored travel over the next 30 days to countries severally effected by the COVID-19, according to University Health Services.