Flu Season Brings Concern Over Sick Time Laws
Get Legal Help Today
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
UPDATED: Jan 22, 2013
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.
Flu season—it comes every year, we can count on that. Right around the holidays, symptoms spread through the country like wildfire; children stay home from school, college students sniffle through finals, and some workers cash in sick leave. Millions of Americans without the option of sick leave, however, head into work, flu or not.
In the midst of a particularly aggressive flu season, a debate about paid sick leave is spreading almost as fast as the virus. Lawmakers in many cities are addressing widespread concerns that tens of millions of employees across the country without paid sick days are coming into work with contagious illnesses. Some are also concerned that workers without sick leave are more likely to use emergency care and that without the option of staying home to care for sick children, parents have little choice but to send sick kids to class. All factors contributing to dangerous flu epidemics.
New York Rallies
In New York City last week, after Governor Cuomo declared the recent flu outbreak a public health emergency, a group of workers, lawmakers and proponents of sick leave reform, gathered at City Hall to demand a three-year-old measure be finally passed, reports CBSNEWS.com.
Advocates for paid sick leave argue that it is a necessary social initiative that aligns with other labor rights like maternity leave or minimum wage regulations. Those against measures extending sick leave to more workers—generally small business owners and most commonly restaurant owners—say it’s too much to ask in a time of economic difficulties and especially for those small businesses already affected by super storm Sandy. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with other influential New York legislators, also oppose the measure.
A sick leave law in New York would stipulate that all workers would be given up to five paid sick days per year at companies with five or more employees.
Cities with Mandatory Paid Sick Time
According to reports, only three cities and one state in the country currently have laws requiring employers to provide paid sick leave: San Francisco, Seattle, D.C., and Connecticut. While some other states and cities have initiated some form of sick leave measure, no others have passed into law. But with many workers becoming more vocal and policymakers supporting the idea, we may see more sick leave laws in 2013.