GiaQuinta calls on governor to ensure all Hoosier workers have access to paid family and medical leave
INDIANAPOLIS — Yesterday, Indiana House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) followed up on a request from March 17, 2020 by calling on Governor Holcomb to ensure that all employers are required to give their employees at least 80 hours of paid sick leave as we continue to face the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter to the governor, GiaQuinta said that all employers, including those with more than 500 employees, should be offering paid family and medical leave to employees to help prevent the spread of this deadly virus.
Read and download a copy of the letter by clicking here. The text of the letter can be found below.
April 7, 2020
The Honorable Eric Holcomb
Governor of Indiana
200 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
Dear Governor Holcomb,
I want to thank you for the work that your administration has done to protect public health and slow the spread of COVID-19 in our state. I agree with your previous public statements that a critical component of slowing the spread of COVID-19 is ensuring that sick Hoosiers do not travel to their worksites and potentially infect others. To that end, we must ensure that sick Hoosiers have the financial means to stay at home, preventing the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces across the state.
In my letter dated March 17, 2020, I asked that you work with our federal partners to provide economic relief for Hoosiers grappling with both the health and fiscal consequences of COVID-19, including a request for up to four weeks of paid medical leave for all Hoosier workers. The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act was a step in the right direction, guaranteeing 80 hours of paid sick leave to employees impacted by COVID-19. While this law protects some private sector employees and certain public sector employees, it does not protect Hoosiers that work for private sector employers with more than 500 employees.
I firmly believe that all Hoosiers should have access to paid family and medical leave regardless of the size of the company they work for. Therefore, I respectfully request that you require all employers, regardless of the company’s size, to provide no less than 80 hours of paid family and sick leave, consistent with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and create a tax credit for Hoosiers businesses so they are not overly burdened by this requirement. I suggest that our $2 billion surplus and the financial resources dedicated for state governments under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act be used to offset the fiscal burden to the State of Indiana.
During this pandemic, paid family and medical leave is essential to ensure that individuals who are infected (or have been exposed to COVID-19 due to caring for a sick family member) can remain home to help prevent the spread of this deadly virus. House Democrats stand ready to support you in these efforts, and we thank you for everything you and your administration are currently doing to keep Hoosiers safe during this public health emergency.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
Indiana House Democratic Caucus Leader
State Representative, District 80