Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On Equal Pay Day, the Need for Earned Sick Time is Even More Obvious

A new report released today from the Institute for Women’s Policy and Research shows how businesses could save money by implementing a paid sick days.  The report was released on Equal Pay Day, the day when women's earnings finally catch up with men's earnings, as it highlights the need to eliminate workplace discrimination and provide, particularly women, with more support ensuring their and their family’s economic security.

The report focuses on the effect the policy would have in Connecticut, saving businesses nearly $73 million a year, but the benefits for paid sick days could be easily be imagined elsewhere using the information. While employers would spend .19 cents per hour per worker, or $6.87 a week, to provide earned sick time, they would save over $12 a week per worker due to benefits such as decreased turnover and sick employees getting others sick.

For women, the benefit of earned sick time is particularly important as women are still generally the primary caregiver in the home. If a child or an elderly relative is sick, it is likely to be a women who needs to care for that individual. When women are already behind, making only .77 cents for every $1 a man earns, losing that income and potentially their job because they lack earned sick time, can be especially devastating.

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