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Don’t sneeze in my linguini: A paid sick days news round-up

August 25, 2013

And you thought things were getting better: Americans actually get fewer paid sick days than they did 20 years ago. Vacation time is steadily increasing, but the expense of paid sick days. Eighty percent of low-income workers (and 40% of private sector workers) can’t earn even a single paid sick day on the job.

Not a pretty picture in New Jersey: A coalition of women’s groups in New Jersey is calling for a minimum paid sick leave standard to cover all employees. Phyllis Sallowe-Kaye, New Jersey Citizen Action executive director, has the money quote: “No one wants to go into a restaurant and be served by wait staff who is sneezing in your linguini.”

Bustin’ tails in Massachusetts: Raise Up Massachusetts is gearing up to gather 200,000 signatures before December 4th to put a paid sick days and minimum wage ballot measures before voters in 2014. This time Sen. Elizabeth Warren has the money quote: “Hardworking men and women who are busting their tails in full-time jobs shouldn’t be left in poverty.”

“Dear management: do you support paid sick days?”: The question, typed on cards, left on tables around Washington D.C. by restaurant patrons as part of the campaign by the Paid Sick Days for All Coalition. Dressed as sick chefs, supporters gathered signatures on a petition to extend paid sick days to tipped restaurant employees – who, it turns out, aren’t covered by the D.C.’s 2008 paid sick days law.

Now that’s what I call family values: Minnesotans can now use the sick days they earn to care for any ailing child, family member, or spouse. Before this week, the law applied only to dependent children, forcing many workers to make the impossible choice between missing a paycheck or supporting their family.

Photo: Bess Grant via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo: Bess Grant via Flickr Creative Commons

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