The Debate On Paid Sick Leave

We’ve probably all gone to work when we weren’t feeling well. But, what if you went to work sick because you wouldn’t get paid if you stayed home?  Currently, most restaurant workers, home health care workers, and part-time employees don’t get paid if they stay home sick, so many make the decision to go to work sick – to ensure they receive a paycheck.

Last month, New York City started requiring employers to provide paid sick leave for their employees, following in the footsteps of cities like Seattle, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.

States have been reluctant to impose sick day requirements of employers. In fact, a number of states have passed laws that block local governments from imposing sick day requirements on businesses.

Statistics show the more money workers make, the more likely they have paid sick leave. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 87% of the country’s top 25% of earners receive paid sick leave, while only 34% in the bottom 25% receive it.

Connecticut became the first state to mandate paid sick leave in 2011. A survey of Connecticut employers released earlier this year by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the City University of New York suggests that the cost for businesses has been minimal.

While Milwaukee voters approved a sick leave ordinance in 2008, the Wisconsin legislature passed a law prohibiting local governments from passing mandates like this. Ten other states have followed suit. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter vetoed a paid sick day law last year, saying it would “put thousands of jobs at risk and discourage businesses from coming to the city of Philadelphia.”

Supporters of paid sick leave have another shot to gain momentum this fall when it goes on the ballot in Massachusetts.

Do you think employers should be required to offer employees paid sick leave? Share your thoughts with us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.