Activists Call for End to State Ban on Local Paid Sick Leave Policies
NEW ORLEANS – On Monday, the Louisiana workers’ rights group Unleash Local Coalition called on the Louisiana State Legislature to lift the state ban on local paid sick leave laws following reports of the state’s first case of the coronavirus. Louisiana currently does not require private sector employers to provide any paid sick leave and does not allow parish or municipal governments to set their own paid sick leave laws. After the news broke that the global pandemic had reached the state, the coalition released the following statement:
“The lack of paid sick leave in Louisiana puts us all at risk. When workers are forced to choose between going to work sick and losing wages they need to pay rent and support their families, it undermines our ability to respond to public health emergencies. The legislature needs to take immediate action to lift the ban on local paid leave laws so that communities that are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus outbreak can protect their residents.”
Also on Monday, the New Orleans Hospitality Workers Alliance called for paid sick leave to protect restaurant employees and other hourly workers who rarely enjoy any paid sick leave and who are at high risk to become infected and pass on the virus. Last week, labor unions UNITE-HERE and the American Federation of Teachers also called on the federal government to pass paid sick leave legislation.