This brief explores the distributional impact of three alternative policy models for providing paid sick days to U.S. workers taken from actual policies in the states (San Francisco and Vermont) and a federal proposal (Healthy Families Act).

  • Depending on the reason for leave and the policy alternative, 12 to 17 percent of workers will receive new paid sick days, compared with current policy.
  • A national paid sick days policy would benefit proportionately more women than men and proportionately more workers of color than white workers, compared with the current policy. Low-income workers and workers in the occupations and industries with the lowest current rates of providing sick days—including service occupations and the farming, fishing, and forestry occupations—would benefit the most from a national paid sick days policy.