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Quigley Addresses House on Coronavirus Risk and Need for Paid Sick Leave

Mar 10, 2020
Press Release

Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) spoke from the floor of the House of Representatives to bring attention to how the increasing risk from coronavirus highlights the need for all Americans to have access to paid sick leave. The Center for Disease Control has advised any individuals experience symptoms to stay home from work, but millions of hard-working Americans are not offered paid sick leave by their employers. While members of Congress are able to self-quarantine or self-isolate as necessary, not all workers enjoy the same options. Quigley’s speech called on Congress to act to ensure that all working Americans are provided with the same sick leave benefits as members of Congress.

Video of Quigley’s speech is available here and his remarks as prepared for delivery are included below.

Mr./Madame Speaker,

The CDC has given the American public some simple suggestions for protecting themselves and their communities during the coronavirus outbreak –

Wash your hands, cover your cough, and stay home if you feel sick.

But for millions of hard-working Americans, staying home from work when they are ill is literally not a luxury they can afford.

The difference between staying home for two weeks to “self-isolate” and going to work for two weeks no matter how you feel is the difference between putting food on your table and watching your children go hungry.

It’s the difference between buying life-saving medications and going without.

Here in Congress, Members are fortunate enough to be able to write their own doctor’s notes. They can stay home and still collect their paychecks.

Shouldn’t all Americans have that same option?

I yield back.