More than two years into the pandemic (still not over, President Biden!), there have been nearly 100 million cases of COVID-19 in the United States. In the early part of the pandemic, some workers benefited from a first-ever federal paid sick leave law, and a growing number of states require paid sick leave for many workers. But many workers have had to face COVID-19 with no paid sick time, and as usual, the burden falls most heavily on the workers who already have the least.
Just 38% of the bottom 10% of workers have paid sick days, while 96% of the top 10% have the benefit, the Economic Policy Institute’s Elise Gould writes, highlighting recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data. And if you’re in the lowest-paid 10% of workers, you cannot afford to take unpaid time off work without serious sacrifice. Leisure and hospitality is the industry where the lowest percentage of workers—53%—have paid sick leave, even though many of those jobs are public-facing, bringing an increased risk of contracting COVID or any other virus, and an increased risk of passing it on.
● Home Depot workers have filed to form the first union at the retail behemoth, Jonah Furman reports.
● Employers' productivity standards are not real science. Here's how to push back, Michael Childers writes at Labor Notes.
● The child care crisis just keeps getting worse, Rachel Cohen reports—and a child care crisis is itself an issue for the workers in that industry and for parents who need care for their children to be able to work.
● Seven hundred Bobcat workers in North Dakota voted to join the United Steelworkers.
Sign the petition to President Biden: Expand worker power
Since Dobbs, women have registered to vote in unprecedented numbers across the country, and the first person to dig into these stunning trends was TargetSmart CEO Tom Bonier, who's our guest on this episode of The Downballot. Bonier explains how his firm gathers data on the electorate; why this surge is likely a leading indicator showing stepped-up enthusiasm among many groups of voters, including women, young people, and people of color; how we know these new registrants disproportionately lean toward Democrats; and what it all might mean for November.