McClellan Applauds Senate Passage of Paid Sick Leave Bill

McClellan is Co-patron of Delegate Elizabeth Guzman’s Bill to Provide Paid Sick Leave to 30,000 Home Health Workers

Today, Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) applauded the General Assembly’s passage of a bill to provide annual paid sick leave to home health workers. Sen. McClellan is one of two Senate co-patrons of Del. Elizabeth Guzman’s (D-Prince William) bill (HB 2137). The bill passed the House today 54-44, after passing the Senate 21-18 on Thursday. 

HB 1237 will provide 5 days of paid sick leave per year to 30,000 home health care workers, starting on July 1. The bill will help address the worker risk and job insecurity that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Home health workers are on the front line of the pandemic,” said Sen. McClellan. “They should not have to choose between their job and their health. This bill is a major relief to the 30,000 home health workers in Virginia, who are disproportionately women of color. This is a significant step, but we cannot rest until every worker in Virginia has access to paid sick days and paid family leave.”

“Home Care workers are essential workers, keeping older adults and people with disabilities safe,” said Thomasine Wilson, a constituent of McClellan’s who is a home care worker and Home Care Chair of SEIU Virginia 512. “Paid sick days are the lifeline we need to protect our health. Today is a great step towards that, and now we need to ensure paid sick days for all workers.”

Sen. McClellan has been a Senate leader in the effort to expand paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave. Sen. McClellan co-patroned bills to establish a paid family and medical leave program in both the 2021 and 2020 sessions. In the 2020 special session, McClellan was a co-patron of a bill to provide paid quarantine leave during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

McClellan is also the chief patron of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (SB1310), which passed the General Assembly in the past week, extending the Virginia Human Rights Act and workplace health and safety protections to home health care workers and other domestic workers. In 2020, she was the chief patron of a domestic workers bill that passed into law making domestic workers eligible for minimum wage.

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Jennifer McClellan was elected to the Senate of Virginia in 2017 after serving 11 years in the House of Delegates. She has been a leader on fighting climate change, strengthening public education and dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, protecting voting rights, enacting criminal justice reform, combating domestic and sexual violence, and fighting discrimination of all kinds.