Caring for ‘chosen family’ gains ground in sick-leave laws

NEW YORK (AP) — They are friends so close they’ll come through like family when someone is ill. And these “chosen families” have quietly been gaining political recognition in some laws that require paid sick time.

In the last two years, Arizona, Rhode Island and the three biggest U.S. cities — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — have passed laws that let workers use those sick days to care for anyone who’s like family to them.

Similar laws also passed in Austin, Texas, last month and St. Paul, Minnesota, in 2016. Millions of federal employees and contractors also have the benefit.

Advocates say the laws reflect the varied relationships that matter to people.

But some business interests say the laws put bosses in the awkward position of discerning who’s the “equivalent” of family.