Monday, January 11, 2010

Quit Horsing Around - We Need Paid Sick Days for All Workers

cross-posted on the PathWays PA Policy Blog

In New York City the Health Department has proposed a new rule which would call for horses that are hitched to carriages that carry tourists to be given five weeks of job protected vacations every year. The horses would continue to enjoy their standard payment, room and board, during this time. This new regulation is not just for the humane treatment of animals but also the time off would likely prolong the horse’s work-life and enhance their productivity.

As discussed by Jodie Levin-Epstein in the Huffington Post:
Vacations are good for your health. And, you don't need to get away to any fancy Caribbean retreat to get the benefit of time-off from work. But it helps if you are a horse. In New York City, that is. It's time for Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to pony-up to the value of vacation for two-legged workers.
In the United States, there is no minimum standard for even paid sick leave, leaving 48 percent of workers have no paid sick days, which includes 79 percent of childcare workers and 78 percent of food-service workers.

How can this be resolved? At the Federal level, The Healthy Families Act (S910, HR1542) proposes up to 7 days of paid sick leave for full time employees, with pro-rated leave for part-time workers. In Pennsylvania and Philadelphia similar legislation has also been introduced.

Please contact your legislators today and tell them to quit horsing around and give workers this basic right to be able to stay home when sick. Click on the links below for their contact information.
You can also tell your story! Are you a parent who lost their job to stay home with a sick child? Are you a business owner who provides/supports paid sick days? Are you a server or child care worker who has gone to work sick out of fear of losing your job? Share your story in the comment section below or email your story to us at

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