Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:
At this week’s White House Summit on Working Families, President Obama and others made a moral case for changing the way we work. “Family leave, childcare, workplace flexibility, a decent wage – these are not frills, they are basic needs. They shouldn’t be bonuses. They should be part of our bottom line as a society,” the president remarked.
Yet there was also a strong business case for change, with vociferous and impassioned representation from our nation’s private sector. Bob Moritz, PwC’s US Chairman and Senior Partner, called on his peers to make significant changes, saying that “CEOs need to make this happen.” He reported that when PwC increased their flex options they saw higher productivity in return. When they transitioned to unlimited sick leave, the actual number of days that employees took as sick days declined. PwC offers back-up childcare and other family-friendly benefits because they have found that…
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On June 13th, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) successfully passed a paid sick days bill (AB 1522) through the Labor and Industrial Relations Committee in the California Senate. The bill is now scheduled to be heard on June 24th in the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. If passed, AB 1522 will allow California residents to accrue one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, and would allow them up to 3 paid days off per year.
“As the dynamics of the modern family change, so does a mother’s ability to take care of sick children or hers own self when she falls ill at the same time she’s trying to hold down her job,” Gonzalez said. “Our economy has moved to a place where families cannot rely on a stay-at-home parent in times of illness. As a state, California must adapt to the reality facing today’s working families.”
The Vermont Commission on Women hosted a rally for paid sick leave and other working family issues on June 12th, gaining momentum prior to The White House Summit on Working Families that will be held on June 23rd. In the crowd were politicians, nonprofits and business owners – all there to show support for renewed efforts to pass paid leave legislation. A paid sick day proposal was brought forward in Vermont earlier this year, but ultimately died in the Legislature. There are continued efforts to revive the proposal for next year.
Senator Loretta Weinberg of New Jersey is moving to pass a state-wide paid sick leave bill with support of NJ Senate Democrats. If passed, it would allow for 40 hours of paid sick leave for employees of businesses with less than 9 workers, and 72 hours of paid sick leave for employees of businesses with 10 or more workers. Senate Democrats have pledged action on the legislation, and beginning this week are going to work with labor leaders to start gaining momentum for the state-wide sick leave campaign. So far New Jersey’s two biggest cities, Newark and Jersey City, all ready offer earned sick leave. Only the state of Connecticut offers the benefit to all employees.
Women’s Economic Security forum Tacoma Community College, June 18, 5:30-7:00pm.
Join a community conversation on policies like fair pay, paid sick days, and family leave, with Tami Green, Laurie Jinkins, and other local champions for women.
Hosted By: AAUW Tacoma, Children’s Alliance, Economic Opportunity Institute, , League of Women Voters of Washington, Legal Voice, Pierce County , Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, SEIU 1199NW, Take Back Your Time,Teamsters 117, Washington State Labor Council, Washington State Senior Citizens’ Lobby,Washington Work and Family Coalition.
See the full flyer here: Tacoma Women’s Economic Forum
Thousands of working men and women die every year while on the job, and many more are injured or fall ill from diseases caught at work. This week past week has been Worker’s Memorial Week of Action and we want to spotlight the positive effects that paid sick days would have on saving workers from illness and injury.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed on April 28th, 1970. Many have used that day to commemorate fallen workers and have named it Worker’s Memorial Day. We can applaud ourselves as a nation for how far we have come to ensuring workers are protected on the job. However, there is still much room for improvement, and one way to enhance worker’s health and safety is to pass paid sick days.
Research shows that there is a direct correlation between the availability of paid sick days and the occurrence of workplace injuries. A study conducted by Abay Aswfaw shows that workers that have paid sick days are 28 percent less likely to be injured on the job compared to those who do not receive sick days. Workers that go to their jobs ill are most likely to be fatigued, sleep deprived and not thinking clearly –which leads to accidents and injuries.
By providing paid sick days businesses will boost employee morale and reduce turnover, which will lead to savings for businesses in the long run. A healthy worker is a productive worker, and studies show that when employees are sick on the job (known as “presenteeism”) they are more likely to spread disease, and not be as profitable. Inevitably, employers pay more out of pocket for presenteeism than they would for absenteeism. Paid sick days lead to a healthy and happy workforce which ensures employee retention and good morale.
For Worker’s Memorial Week of Action, it is important to remember all of the worker’s lives that have been lost while we remain fighting for workplace rights of the future. Promote paid sick days by sharing these talking points about worker safety on your blogs, newsletters and other advocacy pieces. Together we can raise the bar for standard labor practices and give workers what they deserve.
“I have 3 children and if they are sick I have to ask my mother or cousin to take them into the doctor or pick them up from school. Sometimes it is very hard to figure out because everyone works a lot of hours and I worry. If I need to call out sick then I don’t get paid for that day and my supervisor becomes very mad and will take away hours from me the next week. I do not like to take time off if I am sick because then I don’t have enough hours to pay the rent or pay my bills. Our supervisor tells us to make sure not to act sick around the customers. So if we need to sneeze or cough we need to do that in the break-room or bathroom.”
By passing a paid sick days ordinance in Tacoma, workers like Jose will be able to take a paid day off without having to worry about missing a day’s pay.
Christy is the mother of three kids and a hospital nurse in Tacoma, WA. With access to paid sick days, she knows that she is one of the lucky ones. Back when she was in school for her nursing degree, Christy worked for a company that did not provide sick leave.
Then, deciding to stay home when sick meant worrying whether her paycheck would cover groceries. “I had very little kids at the time: 6 months, 3 years, and a 6 year old. Once all of my children were sick and I really was not feeling well myself. I really needed to stay home and get well, and plus try to take care of them. But at that time I was not able to. If I went to work sick, I knew that I would have a full check to pay bills. If I didn’t, well I would have to rob Peter to pay Paul and hope it worked out in the end. I made the decision to go to work sick,” Christy says.
“Now I am a nurse and see how others have to make that decision. I feel a need to speak out because we all deserve to stay home when we are sick. I as a nurse would not have a sick nurse caring for me or a restaurateur making my food.”
40,000 workers in Tacoma don’t receive a paid day off to take care of themselves or a loved one. The Healthy Tacoma Coalition believes that every worker should be treated with dignity, and have the ability to perform in a safe and healthy workplace.
Once a month, City Hall holds a Citizen’s Forum which allows for residents of Tacoma to bring forward any issue they wish to speak on. Healthy Tacoma is organizing public turnout to support paid sick days at this month’s Citizen’s Forum.
Whether you decide to show up and sit with us, or decide to testify, we will have all materials for you (talking points, stickers, info, etc.). The Citizen’s Forum is taking place on April 8th at 5:30 PM. If you would like to meet with us beforehand and prep, we will meet at Tully’s on Broadway at 5 PM. Otherwise, meet us here at 5:30:
City Hall, 1st Floor
747 Market Street
Also, be sure to mark yourself as ‘Going’ on our event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/624264904318627/
For any questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org