A history of paid sick leave legislation

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Connecticut recently became the first state in the nation to enact a mandatory law that guarantees eligible employees the right to earn paid sick time. Workers must have put in at least 680 hours of employee attendance before they are allowed to start using their accrued leave.

San Francisco was the first to enact a paid sick leave law in November 2006, after it was passed by a ballot initiative. Washington, D.C., followed suit in March 2008. Seattle passed similar legislation last year - along with Philadelphia, which approved a narrower, contract-specific requirement around the same time, the Abilene Reporter News notes.

However, more than 40 million workers in the United States are currently ineligible to earn paid sick days, with low-wage, female and Latino workers being disproportionately affected.

"Paid sick days are a win for everyone," said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, in a recent statement.

The news source reports that Massachusetts is currently considering following Connecticut's leads, and advocates have targeted more than 10 other states as likely future candidates. Advocates' campaigns have been bolstered by reports such as a paper from the Institute for Women's Policy Research, which found that the uninsured are less likely to visit the emergency room if they have access to sick days. 

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