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Letter from Paid Sick Days Supporter

November 11, 2013

City Council-members, as well as Healthy Tacoma, received this encouraging letter from one of our local supporters of paid sick days. We want to thank the individual/business owner that sent this in to City Council. We hope it inspires others (like you) to share their stories as well!

“Dear City Council-members,

I don’t understand why there is even a question whether employees should be paid for sick-days. For as long as I have been in business all of my employees who worked at least 35 hours a week earned a certain number of hours towards paid sick-days they could use within that year. The rate at which they would accumulate depended on the years they worked for me. So a new employee accumulated fewer hours than a loyal employee who stayed with my company. The same went for vacation days.

Maybe I offered this because I grew up in Germany and it was just the way business was conducted there. I also offered health-insurance for many years until it was just impossible to pay for it any more, especially since the competition didn’t provide it and I couldn’t very well raise our prices as quickly and by as much as the health-insurance went up which was over 20% in some years. If every employer would have to provide the same benefits to their employees, the playing field would be even.

To me it makes no sense to have a sick employee service customers or do any kind of work. First of all the sick employee cannot possibly provide excellent service and secondly you don’t want your customers to get sick at your place of business or they stay away.

I don’t understand why this should be a local issue. The federal government and the State regulate pretty much everything that has to do with business. In this country we treat those who do the actual work in such a demeaning way and don’t care for their well being first and foremost. Equipment gets serviced regularly so it stays in top condition and it is generally treated better than most employees. People do better when they feel appreciated and when they are rested and allowed to ‘recharge their batteries’.

If we have to start at the local level, than I am totally supportive of Tacoma requiring employers to provide paid sick-days to employees.”

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