Nashville’s Metro Council is going on record urging private employers to provide better sick leave, saying the pandemic has highlighted it as a necessity.
The council can’t require more generous leave, so it is asking the governor and the state legislature to take action or grant local governments more authority.
Citing federal statistics, councilmembers say only about a third of the country’s lowest-paid workers get paid sick leave. And they estimate that more than a million Tennesseans aren’t eligible for two emergency federal provisions that have provided extra leave.
The council suggests that employers should provide two weeks annually for workers who are dealing with coronavirus symptoms, quarantine or care duties for a sick person.
The advocacy group A Better Balance, which pushed for the resolution, praised the vote in a statement.
“Now more than ever, all workers must be able to take the time they need to care for themselves and loved ones without sacrificing their economic security,” said Elizabeth Gedmark, vice president. “Paid sick leave keeps us all safe, and it benefits businesses by improving productivity, lowering turnover and reducing the costly spread of illness in the workplace.”