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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Most Americans Support Paid Sick Days, Parental Leave

Today's post was shared by Steven Greenhouse and comes from

A majority of Americans think employers should be required to pay for sick leave and time off for new parents, according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll.

Seventy percent say companies should be compelled to offer paid sick leave to employees, while 67 percent favor paid maternity leave, and 55 percent support paid paternity leave, the poll found.

About 40 percent of private-sector workers, many in lower-wage industries, aren't guaranteed paid sick days, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. President Barack Obama has urged employers to offer the benefits voluntarily and has asked Congress and state legislatures to pass legislation requiring paid leave.

Lawmakers' opinions on the benefits diverge largely on partisan lines. Americans in general, however, are more supportive.

The poll found a majority of Republicans and Democrats support requiring paid sick leave, although Democrats are 31 percentage points more likely to do so. There were similar partisan gaps on maternity leave and paternity leave.

Women are 14 percentage points more likely to support paid sick leave than men, 15 points more likely to support maternity leave, and 9 points more likely to back paternity leave. Those with children under age 18 are slightly more likely than those without kids to back all three policies.

The divide in opinion on sick leave and maternity leave has remained relatively unchanged since HuffPost last asked about the issue in June 2013. Paternity leave,...

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