From Legal Voice:
The current debate over whether or not workers should have a minimum standard of paid sick days is not a new one. A national bill, The Healthy Families Act, was proposed in 2009 and a handful of cities and states have followed suit with similar proposals.
What baffles me in the current debate over a paid sick days proposal in Seattle is the absence of voices from those this policy is meant to protect: Those who are truly affected by a lack of sick days seem to be silent, and with plenty of folks willing to speak for them. Doesn’t this make sense though? When your boss is out there hollering about the negative impact of a minimum standard of sick and safe days, wouldn’t fear of retaliation keep you from speaking out in favor?
Dave Meinert, owner of Big Mario’s Pizza and The Five Point Café claims that his employees don’t want paid sick days. Having worked in the service industry for over 10 years, my immediate feeling was that this can’t be true. Just to be sure I wasn’t off base, I decided to call my friend who has put in a similar number of years to the industry. It just so happens that she had to work her shift as a server at a local restaurant the other day with a 102 degree fever. Not only does she disagree with Meinert’s assessment, she told me that everyone at her restaurant feels the same way. The only problem? None of them are about to risk their jobs in order to make a point.
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