Two major cities — San Francisco and Washington D.C. — have implemented mandatory paid sick leave policies, while a third — Milwaukee — has passed the requirement, only to see it tied up in court. In addition, 15 states have proposed mandatory sick leave laws.

“We are all being advised by our doctors to stay home if we’re sick, but that is a cruel piece of advice if you don’t have paid sick time,” Maine Senate President Elizabeth Mitchell said. New York City is also looking at mandatory leave, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg has expressed support for, at least for the city’s large employers. New York’s proposed requirement would also allow workers to stay home in the event their child’s school was closed for public health reasons.

“Many working parents suffered this past spring because their children’s schools were closed even though their children were not sick,” said Donna Dolan, chairwoman of the New York State Paid Family Leave Coalition.

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