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The U.S. is one of very few developed nations—very few nations, period—to not require paid sick leave for workers. In recent years, a handful of major cities and one state have passed sick leave laws, but progress is slow. In New York City, for instance, Speaker Christine Quinn is refusing to hold a vote on a sick leave law that has the support of a veto-proof majority of the City Council.

The funny thing is, like many laws that help workers, especially low-wage workers, but are opposed by low-wage employers, paid sick leave is actually pretty popular.

Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos & SEIU. 8/9-12. Registered voters. MoE ±3.1% (no trendlines):

Q: Would you support or oppose your state passing a law that requires businesses to provide their employees at least one week of paid sick leave every year?

Support: 54
Oppose: 31
Not sure: 15

Independents support paid sick leave by a 54-30 margin; among moderates it's 60-24. Even 37 percent of conservatives are in favor. Meanwhile, under current law with no sick leave guarantees, more than 40 percent of private sector workers have to choose between going to work sick or losing pay or even their jobs.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 11:40 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice idea; but the timing would not be good. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That would be one way to ensure the demise of thousands more small businesses.

    •  Thing Is All Their Competition Would Face the Same (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      burden. So ease it in over time and lighten or cut off the requirement below a certain threshhold size.

      2-3 sick days a year would be welcomed by any workers and a low burden on many smallish businesses.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 12:20:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We're STILL Fighting For This? (3+ / 0-)

    wow, just wow.

    what's next? making sure we keep the 12 hour work day? errrr, I mean 8 hour work day?

    "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 11:47:47 AM PDT

    •  31 percent oppose? Really? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, cocinero

      Is that the same authoritarian base that had a positive view of W in his last, catastrophic months?

      These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel. Abraham Lincoln

      by Nailbanger on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 05:39:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great Poll Question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A long time ago I saw Moyers do an interview with Frank Luntz and he said one issue that no party had embraced was that a majority of people polled said that they were continually pressed for time.

    Stuff like mandatory sick leave, vacation and double time instead of time and a half would really help the economy.

  •  Medicare for all. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 12:09:01 PM PDT

  •  False economy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, cocinero

    I really don't get why employers fight this. They aren't saving anything by having people show up sick. Productivity goes down and more people get sick, driving it down even further.

    Many companies who do have paid sick leave still drive this cycle by punishing employees who use it (using attendance point schemes).

  •  Leaving aside the merits of the bill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...I don't understand why the Council majority doesn't just refuse to vote on anything until there's a vote on this.  I imagine there's some stuff in the queue or on the way that's vitally important to Quinn and Bloomberg.

    Mitt Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 05:44:21 PM PDT

  •  In NYC... (0+ / 0-)

    ...there is no referendum process.  Perhaps organized labor should spin this up in a few states that do.

    Such a referendum is like a referendum on the minimum wage.  It is quite likely to pass, even if opponents spend a huge amount of money.

  •  I have a friend who works 2 part time jobs (0+ / 0-)

    and she said she would be happy if she had 2 or 3 paid sick days per year. Naturally she has no paid vacation or holidays but she accepts that. And she has no healthcare and has to buy her own individual policy and even accepts that. But what is tough for her is not even having one paid sick day per year if she gets sick.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 05:52:08 PM PDT

  •  Been wondering (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    why I haven't seen any polls here on DK the last few days. Wanting to see what the Ryan pick may be doing to the polls.
    And one finally shows up and it's about paid sick leave? Not the most pressing question on my mind.

  •  Going to work sick creates its own problems - (0+ / 0-)

    Then you pass your disease on to other workers who also don't have paid sick leave, and without health insurance to depend upon, everybody's screwed.  Even with paid sick leave, people rarely take it - there's too much to do, and not enough training for everybody to do everybody's job.  

    Titter titter and other assorted mirth-expressive exclamations! - BiPM

    by Jensequitur on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 05:57:28 PM PDT

  •  We need to start fighting in all districts (0+ / 0-)

    The fact that we have to poll about paid sick leave is the result of such a massive failure to contest seats not considered safe or guaranteed.

    The Democratic party needs a vision like Howard Dean had. This argument should be more than over.

  •  This is not just a labor issue, (0+ / 0-)

    but a public health issue. People who go to work sick frequently make other people sick, not just co-workers but customers. I don't want a waitress or some guy stocking shelves in the grocery store to be working when they are sick.

    But hey, let's wait till the next huge pandemic to worry about that.

    Lord, but this country is stupid.

    Oklahoma: birthplace of Kate Barnard, W. Rogers, W. Guthrie, Bill Moyers & Eliz. Warren. Home to proud progressive agitators since before statehood. Current political climate a mere passing dust cloud; we're waiting it out & planning for clearer days.

    by peacearena on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 06:13:25 PM PDT

  •  CT passed it! First state in the nation. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    •  having a Democratic Governor (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      along with The State Senate and House certainly has its benefits. Glad to live in Connecticut.

      Re-elect Barack Obama and elect Elizabeth Warren "Mitt Romney...utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive."

      by al23 on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 07:38:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've always had paid sick leave yet it still sucks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue denim

    But, this is a confusing topic. I've worked in the tech sector, where things like working from home are okay. So, even "sick leave" could entail being asked to do crap from home, even if I rarely took sick days. (Vacation time certainly did entail that, almost always! Ever gotten half a dozen work-related phone calls while waiting in line for a roller coaster?)

    It's confusing what sick leave IS in that situation, too. If someone wanted me to take five minutes to handle something that other folks don't know well, that's okay. If I'm being asked to spend an hour on something when I feel like crap, not so fine...

  •  Independent vs. Moderate. What's the difference? (0+ / 0-)

    Never quite got it.

    "Democrats have the heart to care."

    by jeepdad on Thu Aug 16, 2012 at 06:52:02 PM PDT

  •  Paid sick leave? (0+ / 0-)

    I'd be happy if it were even considered acceptable in all jobs to take unpaid sick leave.  I've worked some places where it was highly frowned upon or considered more-or-less the same as simply failing to show up for work.  Where happening to get sick-- even just a short-term illness-- especially at an inopportune time, such as shortly after starting a new job-- is considered a potentially deal-breaking offense.

    So requiring a certain number of days of paid sick leave is a wonderful thing.  But we also need to find a way to penalize workplaces for the subtle ways they will find to pressure employees not to take them.  That pressure will only increase if they have to pay people for the days off.

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