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Chart of the week: Support for paid sick days extends across the political spectrum

June 23, 2010

A recent survey designed and conducted by National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago asked Americans about their support for paid sick days as a labor standard — similar to workplace safety laws or the minimum wage.

When asked the question: “The government sets various standards to protect workers’ rights. How important do you consider [paid sick days]. Would you say [it is] very important, somewhat important, somewhat unimportant, or very unimportant for workers?”, 69% of respondents indicated they considered paid sick days a “very important” workplace standard. But perhaps the more interesting result of the survey is in this week’s chart.

Respondents across the political spectrum expressed strong support for paid sick days as a labor standard. The lowest support came from Independent and Republican Leaning Independent respondents, which polled at 61% and 59% respectively — still a quite solid majority. Overwhelming support for paid sick days (80% or more) was shown by Strong Democrat, Democratically Learning Independent, and Not So Strong Republican.

PSD chart

As demonstrated by Milwaukee voters in 2008, where a paid sick days referendum passed with 69% of the public vote, paid sick days is not a wedge issue. It is considered ‘very important’ among the majority of the electorate, regardless of political affiliation. Isn’t it about time we considered it here at home?

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