Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Earned Sick Time: Fact versus Fiction

This information comes from our friends at the National Partnership for Women and Families.

Fiction: Workers can use paid vacation days when they are sick, they don’t need to earn sick time.
Fact: Most workers who lack earned sick time also lack paid vacation days.

Fiction: Workers with access to earned sick time may abuse the policy.
Fact: On average, workers covered by earned sick time policies take only one additional day off per year than workers without earned sick time. Also, among workers covered by an earned sick time policy already half do not use any of their paid sick days.

Fiction: Small businesses will go out of business if earned sick time legislation passes.
Fact: Without earned sick time policies, businesses face high turnover, spend more on hiring and training new workers, and risk spreading illness. While an earned sick time policy would impose modest costs, the estimated business savings total $11.69 per week per worker from lower turnover, improved productivity and reduced spread of illness.

Fiction: An earned sick time policy would force employers to cut wages or workers.
Fact: While an earned sick time policy would impose modest costs, it is also likely to help business by reducing turnover and improving worker productivity. When sick workers are on the job, it costs our national economy $180 billion annually in lost productivity. For employers, this costs an average of $255 per employee per year and exceeds the cost of absenteeism and medical and disability benefits.

Fiction: Jobs will be outsourced if an earned sick time law is passed.
Fact: The majority of workers who would benefit most from earned sick time are in jobs that have direct contact with customers, making them difficult to outsource.

To read more about these and other paid sick days facts please see Busting the Myths About Paid Sick Days from the National Partnership for Women and Families.

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