Even Supermoms Can't Fight All Germs: Personal and Political Stories for Paid Sick Days
Welcome to the MomsRising.org blog carnival on paid sick days! We've invited advocates, moms, and workers (and many contributers wear all three hats) to contribute their unique voices to this dynamic national conversation about the urgent need for for everyone to be able to earn paid sick days. This blog carnival pulls together dozens of stories, new explorations relating to paid sick days, and links to great pieces on the topic from across the web to make it easy for our readers to learn about the issue and to share your own perspectives and experiences in the blog comments.
Why should you read these stories? Frankly, the stories from the front lines of motherhood rarely make the front pages. Yet the work that moms are doing on these front lines to raise the next generation of Americans is certainly heroic. And listening to the voices and wisdom of mothers is essential for building a healthy and prosperous nation.
Our own MomsRising members' stories lay a strong foundation for the argument in support of paid sick days. A MomsRising member from Illinois shared:
"Having paid sick days would have helped me tremendously when I was an hourly employee. Not having them meant that I had to postpone taking my kids to the doctor until Saturday openings were available. One time, not having paid sick days resulted in my daughter having a serious ear infection, which ultimately affected her hearing. At the time I was barely making ends meet and could not afford to take a day off to take her to the doctor. She started complaining of ear pain on a Thursday, but did not have a high fever. I scheduled an appointment with her doctor for the following Saturday. By Friday evening, we were in the ER because her eardrum burst and her ear was leaking fluid. This is just one story that describes how badly I needed paid sick days at work, and didn’t have them."
This Illinois MomsRising member isn't alone. Over 50 million American workers are not allowed by their employers to earn even a single paid sick day - including 78% of workers in jobs that require frequent contact with the public, like child care, nursing home and retail employees.
We have an enormous problem. Everyone gets sick at some point or another, but when sick folks aren’t able to stay home it puts everyone’s health at risk.
There is overwhelming public support for paid sick days. People in red states and blue states, Republicans and Democrats all support paid sick days. Not only do people support paid sick days policies, but also recent polling finds that workers favor political candidates who support paid sick days over those who don’t. 
When you think about it, it is hardly surprising. We ALL get sick. When we’re worried about our kids’ health or our own health, we shouldn’t also have to worry if we’ll still have a job when we get better.
Please take a moment to read the stories here from your community, from workers at large businesses and small nonprofits, and from the front lines of motherhood across the nation – and join us in supporting mothers and families across America.
Thank you. Together, we can be a powerful voice for mothers and families.
Executive Director & Co-Founder
P.S. To download and read more personal stories from MomsRising members from every state in the nation on the need to earn paid sick days, click here!
 National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago for the Public Welfare Foundation, "Paid Sick Days: A basic labor standard for the 21st century” August 2008
Paid Leave Makes Horse Sense, Jodie Levin-Epstein. Do horses really get paid time off?
In Talking About Paid Sick Days, The Bottom Line, Megan Curran. Getting down to the messages that matter to working families, businesses AND policymakers.
First, They Ignore You..., Joe Dinkin. ...then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Need for Paid Sick Days Never Takes a Holiday, Linda Meric. Summer's a great time to take action in support of paid sick days.
Sick in the City: Paid Sick Time and a Healthy Business Climate, John Petro. How states and cities are taking the lead when the federal government is slow to act on paid sick days.
Prescription for Preventive Health Care: Add Paid Sick Days, Andrea Lindemann. Paid sick days is prevention, and that means cost savings as well as better health.
A Case for Paid Sick Days for N.H. Workers, Nicole Tobiasz-Murphy. Good for employees, good for business, good for New Hampshire.
My Back to School Checklist: Add Paid Sick Days?, Beth Messersmith. A mom in North Carolina shares her personal perspective and an insightful look at policies that families need.
Tiffany's Story: Why Having Paid Sick Days is So Important for Her and Her Family, Kathleen Scully. A mom who's an office manager shares her gratitude for workplace policies that let her care for her 13 year old son with severe asthma.
The View From Capitol Hill, Rachna Choudhry. They're humans who work in the halls of Congress, and they've got some paid sick days stories of their own.
A Collective Solution to a "Personal Problem:" Unions Fight for Paid Sick Days, Jenya Cassidy. A mom with a son and twin girls talks about how her union stood up for her.
Decision 2010: The Grassroots Set the Pundits Straight!, Laura Harper. How the grassroots in Maine are getting their legislators to listen.
Why North Carolina Needs Federal Action on Paid Sick Days, Louisa Warren. The good solid work of grassroots leaders in NC is helping push this state--slowly-- in the right direction. How federal action would give them the boost they need to make the state more truly family friendly.
Paid Sick Days Are Crucial for Direct Care Workers, Vicki Shabo. Those who tend to the elderly and care for our children should have access to paid sick days-- but more than half of them don't.
Where Small Business Prospers, Laura Harper. How small businesses have needs, too.
Why I Need Paid Sick Days, Tasha West-Baker. A mother of 3 and cashier at Safeway shares her story about why workers need paid sick days, and why a healthy workplace is a good workplace.
When You Have Paid Sick Days, But Are Punished For Using Them, Judy Wemhoff. Cites the recent poll showing that the vast majority support paid sick days legislation - and how paid sick days mean so much when a family member is facing a frightening diagnosis.
Supporting Paid Sick Time is Easy As 1-2-3, Kathleen Scully. Public health, smart business and economic security are three of many reasons. Great analysis.
The White House Talks, Is Congress Listening?, Melissa Schober. The White House hosted a conference with the Council on Women and Girls about workplace flexibility. It's about time Congress took action, too.
Moms on Capitol Hill NOW For Paid Sick Days!, Ruth Martin. Great opportunity to take action to support MomsRising volunteer members on the Hill, educating Congress on why employees' ability to earn paid sick days is an urgent issue of family economic security.
I'm Sick, I Have Insurance, But I Can't Take Time Off From Work to See the Doctor!, Natale Zimmer. Advocate from OWL, the National Older Women's League, discusses why paid sick days are important for everyone of every age.
Paid Sick Leave: Don't Sneeze on Me!, Natale Zimmer. Paid sick days policy is common sense, not special treatment.
It's Time to Flip the Script: Changing the Debate Through the States, Tim Judson. On helping state legislators across the country organize a network on paid sick days and other family-friendly labor policies.
Dispatch from Louisville: A Salute to Labor and Labor's Legislative Champions, Vicki Shabo. Inspiration and information from leaders in the movement for paid sick days.
The Benefits of Paid Sick Days Are Understated, Robert Drago, IWPR.
Paid Sick Days: A Social Justice and Public Health Policy Approach to Reducing Health Disparities, Mary Olivella, MomsRising.
Paid Sick Days: Thank You For Sharing Your Stories!, Congresswoman Rosa Delauro
Calling in Sick: Americans Out of Luck, Congresswoman Linda T. Sanchez
Paid Sick Days Are a Necessity, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez
More from around the web:
Most Americans Support Paid Sick Leave, Poll Finds
Public Supports Paid Sick Leave
Paid Sick Days:Attitudes and Experiences
Lack of Paid Sick Leave Sped Swine Flu Spread
Paid Sick Leave:A Healthy Attitude for NYC
Will Sick Days Cost Billions for NYC Businesses? San Francisco Says No
Mike is Of Two Minds on Sick Pay
For 39% of Americans, There's No Such Thing as a Sick Day
Americans want sick people to stay home
Need to call in sick? Hope you don't live in America
50% of Americans lack sick leave
New Report Shows Paid Sick Leave Saves Businesses Money
Paid sick days; the gift that working dads need
Working horses get paid sick days; 50 million working Americans don't
Is Walmart Spreading Swine Flu?
For many ill with the flu, staying home is no option, Workers without paid sick leave are often penalized for absences.
Every time my daughter gets sick…
Time off for horses but not for humans?
Paid sick days improve public health by preventing the spread of disease
Single mom fired for caring for sick child
Mandated sick days appeal to dems and repubs alike
CDC-keep your sick kid home. Your boss - get your butt to work!
Lack of Paid Sick Days Takes significant toll on workforce
CDC study shows need for paid sick days
How to cut business costs by adding benefits
How do you juggle when your kids are sick?
Speaking Out for Paid Sick Days: My First Lobbying Experience
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of MomsRising.org.
MomsRising.org strongly encourages our readers to post comments in response to blog posts. We value diversity of opinions and perspectives. Our goals for this space are to be educational, thought-provoking, and respectful. So we actively moderate comments and we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that undermine these goals. Thanks!