2016.10.01 是时候给予美国家庭带薪病假了

Weekly Address: It’s Time to Give Families Access to Paid Sick Leave

在本周的讲话中,奥巴马总统讨论确保美国家庭享受带薪病假权利的重要性。今天,数百万的美国人仍然无法享受带薪病假,当家人生病时,他们不得不做出艰难决定——要健康还是要工作。奥巴马总统多次呼吁共和党国会议员通过一项保障大多数工人每年都能享有7天带薪病假的法律。然而直到如今,共和党控制的国会都没有采取任何行动。不过,这并不能组织的奥巴马总统采取行动去帮助更多的美国人取得带薪病假,从1月1日起,联邦承包商将被要求同员工实行新的联邦合同,即给予员工每年不少于7天的带薪病假。因为带薪病假不是件有的话很不错的东西,而是必须有。

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
October 1, 2016

There are a couple different stories you can tell about our economy.

One goes like this.  Eight years after the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, our economy has created jobs for 71 straight months(连续71个月).  That’s a new record.  Unemployment has fallen below five percent.  Last year, the typical household(典型家庭,普通家庭) saw its income grow by about twenty-eight hundred dollars – the biggest one-year increase ever.  And the uninsured rate is at an all-time low.

All that is true.  What’s also true is that too much of our wealth is still taken by the top – and that leaves too many families still working paycheck to paycheck(月光), without a lot of breathing room.

There are two things we can do about this.  We can prey on(捕食,掠夺) people’s worries for political gain.  Or we can actually do something to help working families feel more secure in today’s economy.

Count me in the latter camp(后者阵营).  And here’s one thing that will help right away:  making sure more of our families have access to paid leave(带薪假).

Today, having both parents in the workforce is an economic necessity for many families.  But right now, millions of Americans don’t have access to even a single day of paid sick leave(带新病假).  So if you get sick, that sticks you with a lousy choice.  Do you go to work and get everyone else sick, too?  Or do you take care of yourself at the risk of a paycheck?  If your kid gets sick, do you send her to school anyway?  Or do you stay home to take care of her, lose a day’s pay, and maybe even put your own job at risk?

We shouldn’t have to make choices like that in America.  That’s why I’ve repeatedly called on the Republican Congress to pass a law guaranteeing most workers in America the chance to earn seven days of paid sick leave each year.  Of course, Congress hasn’t acted. But we’ve also worked with states, cities, and businesses to get the job done – and many have, pointing to research showing that paid leave actually helps their bottom line.  In fact, since I took office, another ten million private sector workers have gained paid sick leave – making up a record share of our workforce.

Unfortunately, there are still about 40 million private sector workers who don’t get a single day.  That’s why I’m doing what I can on my own.  Effective on January 1st, federal contractors will be required to give their employees working on new federal contracts up to seven paid sick days each year.  That’s happening.  It will help about one million workers when they or a loved one gets sick.  It will cover time you need for preventive care(预防性护理).  It will cover absences resulting from domestic violence(家庭暴力) or sexual assault.  And it means everyone else is less likely to catch what someone else has got – whether it’s a coworker or the person preparing or serving your food.

Paid sick leave isn’t a side issue(次要问题), or a women’s issue, or something that’s just nice to have.  It’s a must-have.  By the way, so are economic priorities like child care, paid family leave, equal pay, and a higher minimum wage.  We need a Congress that will act on all these issues, too, because they’d make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of Americans who are working hard every day.  It’s more than talk – it’s action.  And that’s what you should demand of every politician who wants the privilege to serve you.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

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