Nevada paid sick leave bill easily passes first hurdle

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A Nevada bill to implement paid sick leave sailed through a legislative committee Thursday, April 11, after business groups expressed general support for the measure.

State Sen. Joyce Woodhouse described paid sick leave as a basic workplace standard and said too many families still do not have access to it. The Democratic legislator says employees would receive 40 hours of paid sick leave a year under the bill.

“We support Senator Woodhouse in continuing to fight to amend this bill so more working families have access to paid earned sick days and ensure that 192,000 workers, or 37% of the private-sector, are not left out because they work for businesses with less than 50 employees," Natalie Hernandez, Campaign Manager of the statewide coalition Time to Care Nevada, one of the main supporters of SB312, said in a statement. Compared to the original bill, a proposed amendment brought by Woodhouse decreased the number of businesses mandated to provide paid sick leave. The amendment stipulates that businesses with 50 or more workers must provide paid sick days. The original bill encompassed businesses with 25 or more employees.

The Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce is among several business industry groups that support the measure.

Ann Silver, CEO of the chamber, attended the April 11 committee hearing and said the organization understands the need for employees to have paid time off, whether it's to take care of an ill family member or have time to personally recharge.

Heidi Parker, executive director of Immunize Nevada, is among several other statewide figures who say the bill is long overdue.

“The cost of lost employee productivity due to flu during the 2017-18 flu season was estimated at $21.39 billion, estimating that 25 million workers would fall ill," Parker said in a statement. "When a family lacks access to paid sick leave, the cost can be loss of income, loss of job, loss of home, or the inability to care for and feed family members. We support a healthy state and we support earned paid sick days for all working families.”

The legislation is in the Senate and has yet to be considered in the Assembly.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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