GGS Interns Examine Sick Pay Policies

Erie County's Karen King and GGS interns at a panel presentation.

Erie County's Karen King and GGS interns at a fall 2019 policy brief presentation.

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, GGS student interns examined the impact of sick pay policies on employees, families, and the broader community in Erie County.

Through a Women Studies Internship partnership with the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women, students get a hands-on experience with policy analysis. In spring 2020, the class collectively focused on paid sick leave policies. This topic was incredibly relevant, given the global coronavirus pandemic and that New York State will require employers to offer paid sick leave benefits beginning in 2021. The pandemic has brought increased attention to the need for sick leave and the increased health risks that exist in the workplace.

Students applied feminist theory to practice, and developed a policy brief document that explores how paid sick leave can benefit Erie County and empower women. The report includes data collected from interviews with Erie County employers and employees, and comparisons of other state policies.

The internship will be offered again in spring 2021. Students of all programs are welcome to join. It is offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level.