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Ruth Martin's picture

Mickey Mouse now has a side gig as a corporate lobbyist?! Apparently. Because right now in Florida, in the final days of the state legislative session, the Orlando Sentinel reports that Disney is working to make it impossible for local Florida cities and counties to pass earned sick time laws. [1]

In fact, as reported in the Orlando Sentinel, Disney helped write the bill! Walt Disney World and Darden Restaurants, owner of the Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains, helped draft the legislation, the sponsors said.” [2]  What gives? Who wants to take their family on vacation to a place where workers have to choose between going to work sick (and risk infecting others) or losing a day's pay - and possibly even their jobs - because they are unable to earn sick days?

These corporations opposing earned sick time measures aren't looking out for the families that visit or work at their theme park or eat and work in their restaurants - they are protecting their own massive profits.

Tell Disney: We prefer your fictional cartoon villains. Stop trying to kill access to earned sick time!

There is absolutely nothing magical about getting fired or losing a day's pay because you got sick. So it’s no surprise that momentum for earned sick time is growing.  In just the last few months, City Councils in Portland, Oregon and Philadelphia have passed earned sick time bills and New York City is poised to do the same.  [3,4,5]

In Orange County, Florida, the county where Walt Disney World is based, voters will be able to consider earned sick time in an upcoming referendum.  In response to this growing grassroots effort to make access to earned sick time a workplace standard, the Orlando Sentinel reports that opponents like Disney are pushing bills that would prevent local governments from writing laws regarding employee benefits. [6] It would strip away measures already in place, including those banning wage theft and requiring a living wage, as well as block legislators or voters from moving on local earned sick days measures such as the pending referendum in Orange County.

Tell Disney: Stop trying to make families’ lives a nightmare. Working families need and want access to earned sick time!

Corporations may have tons of resources at their disposal to try to squash common sense policies that protect our families and our economy, but we have something better: We have moms. Moms who are willing to send a message that the happiest place on earth is NOT a place where workers risk losing pay or their jobs if they or a family member get sick.

It’s pretty obvious why earned sick time is good for public health: It helps contain health care costs through prevention, early detection, and treatment of illness. With earned sick time, families would not be forced to send sick children to school where they would likely infect classmates and teachers. Workers with earned sick time would not spread illness to their coworkers and customers.

Somewhat less obvious, but equally true, is that earned sick time turns out to be good for businesses, too. Research shows that the costs of replacing workers, including advertising for, interviewing and training new employees, often far outweigh the cost of retaining employees by offering earned sick time. [7]

Additionally, "presenteeism," when workers come to work sick, costs the national economy about $160 billion  - that’s a billion with a “b” – a year in lost productivity versus absenteeism.  [8]

Tell Disney to stop standing in the way of earned sick time!

And take a moment to forward this to your friends and family so they can take action too!

Together we’re a magical force for women and families.

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