Publication Date



Upjohn Institute working paper ; 16-265




We evaluate the impact of paid sick leave (PSL) mandates on access to PSL and work absences for private sector workers in the U.S. By exploiting geographic and temporal variation in PSL mandate enactment, we compare changes in outcomes for workers in counties affected by a PSL mandate to changes for those in counties with no mandate. Additionally, we rely on within-county variation in the propensity to gain PSL following a mandate to estimate policy effects for workers most likely to acquire coverage. Results indicate that PSL mandates lead to increased access to PSL benefits, especially for women and those working in industries where workers historically lacked access to PSL. We also find that PSL laws increase work absences for those most likely to gain coverage, but reduce absences for others.

Issue Date

November 7, 2016, Revised October 17, 2017


Previously issued under the title The Effect of Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Laws on Labor Market Outcomes, Health Care Utilization, and Health Behaviors

Subject Areas

LABOR MARKET ISSUES; Wages, health insurance and other benefits; Health insurance


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Callison, Kevin and Michael F. Pesko. 2017. "The Effect of Paid Sick Leave Mandates on Access to Paid Leave and Work Absences." Upjohn Institute Working Paper 16-265. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.