Initiative 1433 & Public Health
Initiative 1433 will help make Washington’s communities healthier and safer from dangerous outbreaks.
Safer restaurants, safer Washingtonians
Nowhere is paid sick leave more important than in the restaurant industry, since 70 percent of all food-related stomach flu outbreaks start with a sick food handlers and 1 in 5 workers report going to work sick out of fear of losing their jobs.1 Making sure a sick worker doesn’t have to choose between staying home and losing a paycheck is critical to public safety.
Providing paid sick leave is also common-sense for a restaurant owner, since being at the center of an outbreak can ruin a restaurant’s reputation. Since 64 percent of all food-related norovirus outbreaks start in a restaurant, letting employees take a paid day off when they’re sick is a smart business decision and makes our communities safer.2
Paid sick leave helps prevents the spread of disease
Paid sick leave is crucial to help preventing dangerous and deadly disease outbreaks. According to a recent report, paid sick leave policies like Initiative 1433 have succeeded at reducing flu transmission rates in cities across the country. The study found that the flu rate dropped in cities — including Seattle — after they passed policies allowing all workers to earn paid sick leave.3
Healthier children and stronger families
Both raising the minimum wage and allowing parents to earn paid sick leave will help improve the health of Washington families and reduce health disparities in our communities. That’s why groups like the Washington chapter of the National Physicians Alliance, the Washington Academy of Family Physicians and the School Nurse Organization of Washington have all endorsed Initiative 1433.
When parents earn more and have paid sick leave, kids have the opportunity to succeed. Children who go to school sick because their parents can’t afford to stay home risk falling behind and even passing their illnesses to other children and teachers. That affects all of us.
Among parents of children in childcare, 62 percent said their child was unable to attend daycare at least once because of illness in the past year, but one-third of parents of young children are concerned about losing jobs or losing pay when taking off work to care for their sick children.4
1 “Preventing Norovirus Outbreaks.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. June 2014.
2 CDC National Outbreak Reporting System. 2009-2012.
3 “When workers don’t get paid sick days, everyone else is more likely to get sick.” The Washington Post. August 26, 2016.
4 “Sick Kids, Struggling Parents.” University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. October 2012.