Paid Health Leave and its benefits for everyone

June 21, 2023

As the government ends the emergency pandemic declaration, many people still do not realize the long-term ramifications of navigating COVID-19, especially multiple times. As it stands, COVID-19 is a virus that leaves you more likely to face further health complications and renders you more susceptible to conditions that are more likely to result in death. Yet to many, this signals that the pandemic poses no threat to our daily lives. 

Meanwhile, access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare places the burden on navigating the long-term health ramifications by themselves, removing more resource parties from the equation to long-term healthcare. Public health advancements will be critical in mitigating the effects of the shutdown of many temporary health access points to address COVID-19. While there is no single answer to what everyone needs, one thing we all need: paid health leave. 

Paid health leave is to care for one’s physical illness or injury for weeks or months. In the USA, we currently have no federal paid health leave, so it is at the discretion of individual employers to provide to their employees. Providing paid health leave has many benefits. It allows employees to take care of their health without the fear of losing income, access affordable assistance from their community, and let humanity and the regard for it to show up in policies rather than just data without fuller context.

Last March, the New Jersey Paid Leave Outreach Collaborative hosted a convening to discuss health equity, inclusive paid leave, and access for LGBTQ+ workers in New Jersey. Of those attending, some of our partners from Garden State Equality were panelists. They approached the conversation from the reality that paid health leave would be a key component of improving our community's long-term health and care and the benefitt that everyone gains from receiving paid health leave.

Advocating for our public health system takes a lot of work, dedication, and focus. Garden State Equality is one of our 46 state partners advocating for better policies and services that keep everyone safe. Equality Federation works to build capacity in our network of state-based partners. To support the work of our state partners, learn more about ways to give today.

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