A common cold or a sore throat can get the best of anyone and such a minor illness shouldn’t be the difference between making the rent or losing a job. However, thousands of Nevada families face this decision, whether they are caring for themselves, their kids, or their loved ones. Statewide, more than 200,000 Nevadans don’t have access to paid sick days; what if there was a national health pandemic?
Beyond short-term paid sick time, we all need the ability to address serious medical issues and caring for new children. We need to be able to provide for our families and to care for them, whether they are the family we were born with or the family we have chosen. That’s why we need affordable leave so we don’t have to choose between earning a living and being there for our newborns, a spouse or parent that’s ill, or our own serious illness.
If you don’t work for an employer who provides paid leave, you are stuck losing a paycheck, and in some cases – if you work for an employer with fewer than 50 employees - risking your job.
We are committed to ensuring every worker has access to paid sick days.
"From the age of 21 to 43, I suffered. I just thought it was part of being a woman,” explains Dee. She worked countless jobs with incredible benefits but never earned paid sick days. “By the time I was off from work, only the emergency rooms were open. I couldn’t afford to take a day off from work; doing so would risk me not being able to make my rent or having groceries,” says Dee. Twenty-two years later, Dee would learn that the pain she learned to live with is endometriosis and fibroid cysts - ailments that would rob her of her ability to have children.
Earned paid sick days are, often, the difference between life and livelihood. Women like Dee shouldn’t be forced to make these decisions.
We fight for paid family & medical leave for all. No one should have to choose between their livelihood and their loved ones.
"I estimate that I’ve lost nearly $200,000 during my career because we don’t have paid family leave in this country. My husband became ill in 2006 and was let go from his job. That changed everything for us. Everything,” said Tameka, a Make It Work ambassador.
The increasing demand for Tameka to be by her husband’s side for his doctor’s appointments or hospital visits (or for one of their four children) cost her multiple jobs and caused financial instability.
"That’s when I got into this fight and became a paid family leave advocate. No family should have to endure what we’ve endured and I’m committed to making sure that they don’t."
Our Paid Sick Days Fight
Our current law is a step in the right direction, but not enough - all Nevadans need paid sick days. The law needs to include more days and more people. We need at least seven days so that more families have the access they need to maintain their lives and care for their families, themselves, or their loved ones. Also, too many people are still left out. That's why we have to keep fighting, cause we can #DoBetter.
Our Paid Family Leave Fight
Paid family leave has been a consistent anchor in our organizing work. We are continuing to build relationships with our community members that would greatly benefit from paid family and medical leave.
The lived experiences and challenges of our families, friends and neighbors deserve to be heard when our legislators are shaping public policy. We will persist in our fight to secure paid family and medical leave at the state level because we can #DoBetter by all Nevadan families.
What We've Accomplished
Our unwavering commitment to earned paid sick days is fueled by stories like Dee’s and countless other families throughout Nevada. That's why in 2019, we advocated for and helped pass earned paid sick days for all* Nevadans. The language allows for all employees to earn up to five paid sick days, however, some restrictions apply.
If you work for an employer with 50 or fewer employees, the law doesn’t apply to you. As well, if you work for a business that provides at least five days of paid time off (i.e. holidays), the law doesn’t apply to you. That’s why we have to keep fighting.
Similarly, only 19 percent of employees in this country have access to paid family and medical leave. That means that everywhere, families like Tameka’s, are having to make the most difficult decisions between their health and families or their livelihood. We can #DoBetter than this.
Tameka has shared her story and experiences with the United States House Ways & Means Committee in support of the FAMILY Act; a law that would ensure that all families are able to take the time they need from work while still earning a portion of their salary.
In addition to this, Make It Work Nevada has consistently been amplifying the stories and experiences of our Ambassadors and those whose lives would be measurably improved by having access to paid family and medical leave. We intend to fight for paid family leave, at the state level, during the next legislative session.