223413 Paid sick leave as public health policy: A health impact assessment of the California Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Lili Farhang, MPH , Human Impact Partners, Oakland, CA
Jonathan Heller, PhD , Human Impact Partners, Oakland, CA
Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH , Occupational and Environmental Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA
Wages, benefits, and workplace safety are critical determinants of population health and health disparities. In 2008, the Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act was introduced in California. The bill would guarantee California workers the right to accrue paid sick days to be used for the diagnosis, care, or treatment of health conditions of the employee or the employee's family, or for leave related to domestic violence or sexual assault.

At the request of legislative sponsors, Human Impact Partners and the San Francisco Department of Public Health conducted a health impact assessment of the proposed law. The HIA predicted significant, positive, and credible health impacts from the legislation, including limiting the transmission of communicable diseases and enabling workers to care for sick dependents and to participate in preventative care.

While the CA legislation did not pass, findings were built upon throughout 2009 and in 2010 to analyze a proposed federal bill, and in campaigns in Maine, Massachusetts, Milwaukee, New Hampshire, and New Jersey. In addition, with the H1N1 outbreak, the issue of paid sick days has received increased attention nationally. In this session, we will describe how we worked with stakeholders to frame paid sick days as a public health issue, report key findings, and provide an evaluation of the process and impacts. Overall, we will highlight roles for public health practitioners to play in social justice movements doing work outside of public health domains.

Learning Areas:
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1) Discuss public health research findings related to a proposed statewide paid sick days policy. 2) Describe landscape of public health involvement in policy context. 3) Evaluate strategies for public health engagement in social justice movements to advance healthy public policy.

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Social Inequalities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Co-authored health impact assessment report that is the subject of this presentation. Have conducted research on paid sick days in multiple states.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.