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S. 1152 (111th): Healthy Families Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 21, 2009.

Healthy Families Act - Requires certain employers, who employ 15 or more employees for each working day during 20 or more workweeks a year, to permit each employee to earn at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.

Declares that an employer shall not be required to permit an employee to earn more than 56 hours of paid sick time in a calendar year, unless the employer chooses to set a higher limit.

Allows employees to use such time to: (1) meet their own medical needs; (2) care for the medical needs of certain family members; or (3) seek medical attention, assist a related person, take legal action, or engage in other specified activities relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Prohibits an employer from interfering with an employee's exercise of such rights.

Directs the Secretary of Labor to exercise certain investigative and enforcement authority for employees covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 or the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991. Grants the same authority, for employees under their jurisdiction, to the Librarian of Congress, the Comptroller General, the Board of Directors of the congressional Office of Compliance, and the Merit Systems Protection Board.

Authorizes civil actions by employees, individuals, or their representatives for damages or equitable relief against employers who violate this Act.

Waives a state's sovereign immunity with respect to a suit brought by an employee of a federally-assisted state program or activity for relief authorized under this Act.

Requires the Commissioner of Labor Statistics annually to compile information annually on paid sick time, and the Comptroller General to study related matters.

Declares that nothing in this Act shall be construed to discourage employers from adopting or retaining more generous leave policies.