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map showing which countries have paid sick leave; U.S. is one of very few that does not
On paid sick leave, or lack thereof, the United States is in select company, one of only a few countries that don't guarantee some paid time off if you're sick. It's the U.S., Syria, Chad, Boznia and Herzegovina, India, and just a few others. In fact, among the 15 wealthiest and most productive countries, the U.S. is alone in not having paid sick leave.

Some American cities and states are chipping away at this, but a paid sick leave law for New York City is currently being held up by Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Such a law would benefit more than 1.65 million New Yorkers and reduce health care costs by tens of millions of dollars.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

  • Striking Houston janitors reached a tentative agreement with the cleaning contractors that employ them to clean buildings owned by some of the nation's largest companies. Janitors will get a $1 raise over four years, bringing them to $9.35 an hour. The cleaning companies had proposed a 50 cent wage increase.
  • Pet ownership declined between 2006 and 2011, likely because if you're struggling financially or are worried you soon will be, you don't get a new pet.
  • The AFL-CIO is joining calls for a boycott of Palermo's Pizza. The frozen pizza maker fired 75 workers after they asked for recognition of their union, and workers have been on strike since June 1.
  • Where free speech goes to die:
    Bosses and those who work under them are not equal when it comes to free-speech legal claims. Employers have the right to take action against any employee who engages in political speech that company leaders find offensive. With a few narrow exceptions the Constitution and the federal laws derived from it only protect a person’s right to expression from government interference, not from the restrictions a private employer may impose, lawyers say.

    Employers are not similarly restricted in expressing their political views or encouraging support for a particular candidate or cause. Not only can employers remind employees of the upcoming election and encourage them to vote, but they can base continued employment on whether a worker agrees to contribute money or time to the boss’s favorite political candidate, so long as there’s no state law prohibiting it. (Eight states and the District of Columbia have laws protecting employees from such mandates.)

  • The for-profit college industry in one infographic.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 10:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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