Everyone gets sick, faces family emergencies, or needs to take time from work at some point. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released new data  confirming that those with the least amount of economic security and those with the greatest need for leave, are the least likely to be able to access paid leave when these events happen.
This is the first time that the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) has included questions on leave-taking among American workers, and the findings on disparities in access to and use of leave are stark. By far, workers with lower wages, Hispanic workers, and workers with the most contact with the public are less likely to have access to leave and to lose pay when they do take time off. Here are some of the national numbers:
– 42 percent of American private sectors have no paid time off. None.
– Only 1 in 4 workers in the leisure and hospitality industry have access.
– 3 out of 4 part-time workers have no access to paid leave.
– Hispanic workers have less access to paid leave, but more family caregiving responsibilities.
As we have written before , paid leave is about economic security and job stability. Here in North Carolina, 7 out of 10 families have all parents in the workforce and almost 1.2 million North Carolinians are caregivers for older or sick adults. The Center for American Progress released new fact sheets  yesterday detailing the importance and feasibility of such workplace policies as paid sick days, paid family and medical leave, and workplace flexibility. And you can read more about the North Carolina context here .