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Do you want a sick housekeeper coughing all over your bed?

April 24, 2013
My name is Cathy Youngblood, and I am a hotel housekeeper at the Hyatt Andaz in West Hollywood, California. Those of us who work in hotels come into contact with hundreds of different people from all over the world daily. And of course, some of those folks are going to be sick, whether it is because they don’t want to miss their vacation, or they feel like they can’t cancel their trip for work. But because I work in a union hotel, we have paid sick leave. It is a real comfort to know that when I get sick, I can take the time I need to get better without losing necessary income. Before I...
Cathy Youngblood's picture

Paid Sick Leave: It’s Business-Friendly, Too

April 24, 2013
In most of the developed world, when people get sick or have a sick child, they take a sick day and take care of themselves and their families, keeping their co-workers, customers and clients safe. And they rest comfortably, knowing that getting sick won’t mean they can’t pay the rent or provide their children with needed school supplies. That’s the way it should be. In most of the advanced world, paid sick days are a right that protects working families, while at the same time boosting businesses and the economy. But not in the United States. More than 44 million Americans—42% of the...
Elizabeth Shuler's picture

Against Earned Sick Days? Try Waiting Tables With Torn Tendons In Your Leg

April 24, 2013
For nearly a year, Ariel Kempf was a server at a very busy breakfast and lunch café in Portland when, one day, while playing with her dog on the beach, she tore several tendons in her right leg. She had no health insurance, so she went to an urgent-care clinic where she was told she couldn’t put pressure on her leg for at least ten days and that it might take up to six weeks to heal. She had no sick days. Without delay, she called her coworkers who agreed to cover her next few shifts. She hoped to return in a week or so. But when the busy weekend came around and nobody was available to cover...
Tara Murphy's picture

Paid Sick Days Movement On the Move

April 24, 2013
This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post . Patricia, a home health care aide and 9to5 member from Colorado, attended to a man who is quadriplegic. When Patricia came down with food poisoning, her life unraveled. Her condition progressed to pneumonia caused from the vomit that spilled into her lungs. When her temperature spiked to 104 degrees, she took three days of unpaid leave -- equivalent to a week’s worth of her earnings. After three days, still weak and unable to lift her 170 pound patient, Patricia called in sick for one more day. She was fired. And with the loss of her...
Linda Meric's picture

Without Paid Sick Leave, Mickey Mouse, a Daycare Worker or a Fast Food Server May Give Your Kid the Flu

April 24, 2013
The Florida House of Representatives passed a bill earlier this month prohibiting local sick leave ordinances, even when they have wide popular support. The Florida Senate is currently considering similar legislation. Two Florida Republicans introduced these anti-sick leave bills after an Orange County ballot initiative gained more than 50,000 signatures last fall. The measure would require employers to allow workers to earn up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per year, one hour for every 37 hours worked. Republican lawmakers say they must deny voters the right to decide whether to institute...
Fred Redmond's picture

Paid Sick Leave: A Reform that Makes Sense

April 24, 2013
Paid sick leave would help millions of American families, would reduce the high cost of health care and would eliminate an unnecessary drag on our country’s economic recovery. It’s a common sense solution to a serious problem. Yet Wall Street billionaires and the tea-party politicians who work for them are doing everything in their power to undercut efforts to protect the health of our economy and our families. While most AFSCME members have paid sick leave as part of their collective bargaining agreements, we know that 40 million Americans lack even one day of paid sick leave. Millions more...
Laura Reyes's picture

Children Pay the Price When Parents Don’t Have Paid Sick Days

April 24, 2013
The role of a registered professional school nurse is not only to provide for the safety and care of students, faculty, and staff, but also to support student academic achievement by addressing the physical, mental, emotional, and social health needs of their entire family. For the children of parents without paid sick days, being a successful student is not easy. These parents are forced to make a difficult choice every time they get sick: stay home to recover or go to work sick in order to pay their bills. Given this choice, many workers feel compelled to work sick, compromising their own...
Elizabeth Chau's picture

Local Florida Officials Say No Attacks on Local Control

April 24, 2013
This article originally appeared in Family Values @ Work . Home rule – guaranteed under the Florida state constitution — is a cherished conservative principle. It ensures the right of the people to determine and implement a public purpose at the grassroots level. So when is home rule not okay with conservative politicians connected to the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC? Apparently, when local elected officials or voters stand with working families rather than corporate lobbyists. Local elected officials in Miami, Central Florida and Tallahassee rallied April 16 to oppose...
Ellen Bravo's picture

Picking up the pieces after a bill dies

April 24, 2013
Editor's Note: Melissa Broome, senior policy advocate at the Job Opportunities Task Force and founding member of Working Matters , recounts what it was like to watch paid sick leave legislation fail during the 2013 session of the Maryland General Assembly. Thankfully, Melissa and her coalition partners will be back again next year. This blog post originally appeared in Job Opportunities Task Force . There’s a well-known understanding in our state capitol that important bills rarely – if ever – pass in the first year. I recognize that last month’s unfavorable outcome for the Earned Sick and...
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Paid Sick Days Get Traction and Real MOMentum

April 24, 2013
The MOMentum around paid sick days is huge: in the month of March alone, supporters moved the dial in three of America’s biggest cities. Campaigns around the nation are reaching out to businesses to join in the effort. The progress in March is notable. In Philadelphia the City Council once again approved a measure; while the Mayor again vetoed the bill, the Council has made it clear the issue will not go away. In Portland a new sick days has been enacted and in New York the City Council agreed to a deal that will become law – even if the Mayor vetoes the measure, the Council will override it...
Jodie Levin-Epstein's picture