From the 19th article entitled,

Paid sick leave expired in December. Could the Biden administration reignite a nationwide push?

With nominees to lead the Treasury, Labor and Commerce departments who are committed to paid sick leave, President Joe Biden’s administration is poised to perhaps move the needle toward a national policy.

“Deb Fastino, the executive director of the Coalition for Social Justice and a co-chair of the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition, the groups that brought the paid leave bill to the state, said Walsh’s support helped cement its passage.

“The way I see it is when you take Walsh’s proven leadership at both the state and municipal levels, and you add President Biden’s strong track record for supporting work and families, we can’t lose,” Fastino said.

Raimondo was a vocal supporter of a bill in Rhode Island that gave workers five paid sick days, calling it a “basic right that Rhode Islanders deserve.” Because that policy was already in the books at the start of the pandemic, and thanks to quick action by Raimondo in March, one study by the Urban Institute found that workers were able to access the benefits in the CARES Act more quickly.

“The pattern in these data is clear,” wrote the Washington Center of Equitable Growth in an analysis of the study. “The number of workers requesting new leave or continued time away from work rose dramatically in the early weeks of the pandemic. These workers accessed benefits relatively early in the public health crisis.”

And the story of Beth Fauteux also was highlighted

The other factor to overcome will be a cultural one — the belief that if you’re sick, you should pop a pill, come to work and power through, Ziebarth said.

It’s part of the reason that workers like Beth Fauteux, a mother of two in New Bedford, Massachusetts, hasn’t pushed her employer to enact its own policy. Fauteux, a line cook at a small restaurant, didn’t have access to paid sick leave last year because her employer is exempt.

But she has also seen how difficult it is to go to work when you’re the only person available to care for your children. Both her kids are in hybrid school models that require in-person learning half the week on opposite days.

“Working in a restaurant, if you are busy, you can’t just answer the phone or answer an email. It’s hard to leave. And if you leave in the middle of a rush, it’s really screwing over your coworkers,” said Fauteux, 37.

It’s a constant tension when she has to leave to pick up one of her children or tend to her mother, who is sick. Fauteux was also one of the few employees who didn’t lose her job when the restaurant cut hours and downsized due to the pandemic, so “you feel like you’re lucky to have kept your job, but you want to make sure you can prove you can do the job,” she said.

She also knows the benefit of a paid leave policy, having worked with groups in Massachusetts to pass the state law. But as a low-wage worker who relies on her job, she’s afraid to bring it up to her employer.

“I’ve worked very hard to make sure people have access to it and that it got passed, but I still have an internalized guilt about using it myself,” she said.

Those burdens are heaviest on women, who more often have to measure whether they can take leave — and whether they should. “