The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis it precipitated drew attention from the public and policy makers to the importance of paid sick leave for workers and public health. While most essential businesses offered temporary paid sick leave during the first year of the pandemic, many have since withdrawn this benefit.
Today, more than 26 million people in the private sector have no access to paid sick days, including seven in ten of the lowest-wage workers. Minority workers, low-wage, part-time, immigrant, and service-industry workers are especially unlikely to have access to paid sick leave.
Praxis has joined investor initiatives and filed shareholder proposals on paid sick leave the past two years:
- Praxis co-filed resolutions at Kroger, Walmart, and Home Depot through the Praxis Value Index Fund, asking those companies to consider extending paid sick leave to workers as a core benefit.
- Praxis integrated discussions on paid sick leave into existing dialogues with many companies.
- Praxis joined a recent investor effort led by ICCR and Trillium Asset Management to engage dozens of service industry companies on disclosure of their paid sick leave benefits for U.S. workers and the advantages of providing paid sick leave to all employees.
Praxis and many other investors believe that workplace policies that force workers to be on the job when they aren’t healthy leads to decreased productivity and potential spread of infection. Workers can face a tough choice of working when sick or losing a needed paycheck, or even their jobs.
The benefits of paid sick leave extend beyond employees to the businesses themselves. Companies providing paid sick days to their employees tend to experience lower turnover, especially in lower-wage industries. Tight labor markets have significantly increased competition for workers, making paid sick time a valuable recruiting and retention tool for employers.
Praxis will continue to support efforts on paid sick leave to build a more equitable world and encourage practices helpful for all stakeholders.