Time to own up: Paid sick days make sense

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

By Ellen Bravo

Imagine the scene: Someone tries to convince you there’s a wolf in the area about to cause great harm. The person offers to protect you – and then asks for generous handouts to help that effort.

Only problem: There’s no wolf.

Such is the case with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC). Unable to defeat a ballot measure in 2008 in support of paid sick days, passed by nearly 70% of the electorate, MMAC took to the courts. The organization has tried to convince business owners that paid sick days would be a monster of a wolf, wreaking havoc on our fair city. And now it’s asking businesses to raise a boatload of money as well.

But this wolf, like the one in the fairy tale, turns out to be fake.

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Sick Days for All Workers

Via The Retiree Advocate:

New coalition aims for a healthier Seattle through paid sick days for all workers

By Alex Stone

It should be as fundamental a standard as the minimum wage and the 40-hour work week. Yet one million Washington workers can’t take a single paid day off from work when they – or their children or their elderly parents – get sick.

Among them is Amber, a 22 year old Seattle-area mother with a 3 year old son. Amber’s current job as a kitchen staffer doesn’t offer her paid time off to care for her son when he gets sick. “When my son was sick, I had to call in sick because he couldn’t go to daycare,” Amber says. “I had to take two days off without pay and I regretted it because I have bills to pay and now I am behind”.

Amber’s story is commonplace in the food service industry, where just 16% of employers offer full-time workers paid sick days, and only 2% offer them to part-time employees. It’s no wonder nearly half of “stomach flu” related outbreaks are linked to ill food service workers. Continue reading

Why you should care about paid sick leave

From The Washington Post:

Serving While Sick

If you’re about to eat in a restaurant, you should read this first.

Or then again, maybe you’d rather not.

A report being released at a Congressional hearing later this morning by the D.C.-based Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (“a national restaurant workers’ organization, comprised of restaurant worker organizations across the country,” according to its Web site) says, among other key findings from its survey of more than 4,000 restaurant workers nationwide, that “nearly 90% of workers said they did not receive paid sick days. As a result, two thirds of respondents said they had worked while sick in the previous year, preparing, cooking and serving food.”

Ick.

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