Earned Sick Days: How About THEM Apples?
May 12, 2011
Moms Deliver Apples and Hundreds of Messages Encouraging Earned Sick Days Legislation
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but earned sick days are what really keep Philadelphia families healthy. Moms and children this morning delivered “Apple-o-grams” – apples with messages – to the Philadelphia City Council urging them to support a bill that would guarantee workers the ability to accrue earned sick days.
Each Apple-o-gram included an apple and a booklet with personal messages and stories about the need for earned sick days. They also delivered more than 700 handwritten letters collected by the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces. MomsRising.org, an online and on-the-ground grassroots organization that supports family-friendly policies, helped generate these messages through e-outreaches to its Pennsylvania members. Among them were:
When my son was little, it seemed like he had ear infections every month. I was always taking him to the doctor, and finally got tubes put in his ears. I missed many days until he finally grew out of this problem. If I hadn't been able to take paid sick days, it would have been a big financial hardship for us, and I might have lost my job.
I have two young children and it is hard for me as a single mother to make the choice of working and my children’s health, although my children will always come first.
Sometimes you can barely pay your mortgage and then when you get sick you have to choose between eating and paying the bills. That is not fair.
“Two out of five Philadelphia employees are not allowed by their employers to earn sick days,” said MomsRising Executive Director Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. “When a worker has to choose between going to work sick and losing a day’s pay to stay home sick or with sick kids, it compromises families’ economic security and the public’s health. We hope the Philadelphia City Council won’t be a bad apple – Philadelphia workers need this bill!”
The Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (Bill No. 08074) would allow workers the opportunity to earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 72 hours in a calendar year. The bill unanimously passed out of a committee earlier this month. If the bill is passed, Philadelphia will become the fourth city in the country to require employers to offer earned sick days to their employees to use to care for themselves or a sick family member.