Of the Richest Countries, Only the U.S. Doesn’t Guarantee Paid Sick Days
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
What do workers in Belgium, Finland, Germany and the United Kingdom have that their counterparts in the United States don’t? Mandatory paid sick leave.
The U.S. is currently the only one of 22 industrialized nations that does not require employers to provide guaranteed paid sick time.
But a movement is afoot to get city council members in New York City to adopt a local ordinance, the Paid Sick Time Bill.
Proponents of the measure cite the fact that America’s largest city has 1.4 to 1.6 million workers who have no paid leave of any kind, for illness or vacation. They argue that those lacking in sick leave are often blue-collar minorities and women, including many who handle food or care for the young or elderly. Providing these employees with paid sick leave would improve public health by encouraging individuals to stay home when feeling sick, supporters say.
They also point to San Francisco, which adopted a paid-sick leave law in 2007. Since then, the city’s economic growth has grown stronger, countering the argument by critics that requiring employers to offer paid sick leave will hurt businesses.
To Learn More:
'When Workers Work Sick, It's Unhealthy for All of Us': New York's Battle for Paid Sick Leave (by Jin Zhao, AlterNet)
Work Hours (U.S. Department of Labor)
Connecticut Becomes First State to Require Sick Pay for Service Workers (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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