Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Huffington Post: A New Labor Standard for Labor Day: Paid Sick Leave

In addition to writing an Op-Ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jake Blumgart authored a piece on paid sick days for the Huffington Post. An excerpt is below:




By: Jake Blumgart

A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows only 33 percent of workers earning $10.50 an hour or less have access to paid sick leave, compared with 81 percent of those earning $24.22 an hour or more. This means, perversely, that if you can afford to take an unpaid sick day, you generally don't have to.

Politicians and policy advocates across the country are aware of this squeeze on working families, and paid sick leave bills have been introduced at the city, state, and national levels. Most of these proposals are based on the earned sick time model: Employees must work, say, 30 hours to earn one hour of sick leave. Those earned hours accumulate, eventually, into full paid sick days. All the proposals include a cap on the number of mandated paid sick days. Most require five to nine days a year. Some allow employees to carry over unused sick days from one year to the next.

"The economic climate makes it even more important for lawmakers to act because, in this economy, workers can ill-afford to miss a paycheck or risk the long-term unemployment that often follows losing a job," said Vicki Shabo, Director of Work & Family Programs for the National Partnership for Women & Families. "Workers shouldn't have to put their economic stability and job security on the line every time they get sick. It's bad for business, bad for workers, and bad public policy."

For the complete article please click here.

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