Here's the basic reason it's so hard to pass paid sick leave in the United States:
The more money you make, the more likely you are to already have sick leave. The more money you make, the more likely your legislators are to know you or people like you and to be interested in your opinions.
The facts are stark: 61 percent of American workers have access to paid sick days, up from 57 percent in 2009. Just one state and seven cities have laws requiring employers to offer earned sick leave. And some of the occupations in which you'd most want people taking time off if they were sick, for public health reasons, have the lowest rates: Just 24 percent of food preparation and serving workers and 31 percent of personal care and service workers get paid sick days.
But employers insist they need workers sneezing into the food prep line or they'll go bankrupt, or something, and the issue doesn't feel so urgent to legislators whose friends and family all already can take a day off when they need it. And so the U.S. lags behind much of the rest of the world on this as on so many other basic workplace rights.
(Via Bryce Covert)