What is the HFA?
The Healthy Families Act (HFA) was introduced on March 20, 2013 and is currently in front of a congressional committee. This act would require employers with 15 or more employees to permit each employee to earn at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours of time worked.
Accrued time would carry over from year to year, but employers would not be required to permit accruals of greater than 56 hours.
Employees would be allowed to use the earned sick time for various reasons, including:
- Meeting the employee’s own medical needs
- Meeting the medical needs of specified family members
- Seeking medical attention, taking legal action, or engaging in other specified activities relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
Supporting the HFA
Currently, there is no law that guarantees paid sick days on the state or federal level. Those who support the bill are focused on this point saying that employees should have guaranteed time to focus on themselves when they or a family member is ill.
It is stated that many low wage workers who have the most contact with the public are often the employees who are not granted sick days. This includes food service, hotel workers, and elderly care takers. Without sick days, there is an increased risk for infecting others.
Opposition to the HFA
Those who oppose the HFA site the unfamiliarity of how the law will interfere with the Family Military Leave Act (FMLA). In addition, there are arguments this could be costly and unstable and potentially eliminate the employer’s ability to create their own absence policies. Thus productivity could be driven down and the company would take a loss.
If the bill makes it through the congressional committee, it will be passed onto the House or the Senate. Check back with Optimum Solutions blog for continuous updates on the status of the Healthy Families Act.