Charleston Gazette-Mail, Daily Advent – Since the coronavirus pandemic began, we at the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy have been soliciting stories from people all across the state to hear how various issues — unemployment insurance changes, challenges accessing child care, food insecurity, lack of paid leave and more — have affected their families. Read the full op-ed here.
Over and over, we heard that the pandemic has created significant challenges, but, in most cases, those challenges have been mere exacerbations of longstanding issues that workers and families in our state face. These issues are all interconnected with our ability to address the pandemic and to recover in an equitable way that is inclusive of all West Virginians.
For example, survey data shows that nearly half of unvaccinated workers are hesitant to get the vaccine because they are worried about missing work due to side effects — something that could be addressed by enacting earned paid sick leave for all workers. While the need for paid time off to address one’s illness is not a new one, it is one that has been magnified by the pandemic.
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