Editor’s note: Tom Perez is the U.S. Labor Secretary. Margot Dorfman is the CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce. The opinions expressed in this commentary are their own.
About 40 million private sector workers in America don’t have access to paid sick days. Alex Hernandez is one of them. A warehouse worker in Chicago and father of two, Alex and his wife struggle to make ends meet and balance work and family life. In a recent letter to the Department of Labor, Alex wrote, “When I am ill, I have to go into work because I am afraid of losing my job if I call in sick. My family relies on me and the paycheck that I bring home. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. Every penny counts, and even a few hours away impacts us and how we live.”