Recently two Pennsylvania newspapers wrote articles focused on the need for paid sick days, “Sick leave policies spread swine flu” and “Can't miss work, child sick ...”. PathWays PA wrote the below letter to the editor in regards to both these articles.
In a recent article the need for and conflict around paid sick days is discussed. While it includes information on important federal legislation (the Healthy Families Act), state legislation is also in the works for the 46 percent of Pennsylvania workers without earned sick time.
In July 2009, Representative Marc Gergely introduced the “Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act” that would give workers the ability to earn up to 7 days of paid sick time per year to care for themselves, their children, or their parents, or to use as “safe days” in cases of domestic violence.
Nationally, 79 percent of child-care workers and 78 percent of food-service workers have no paid sick days. These workers suffer the loss of their pay or their jobs when they stay home sick, often causing them to work even when they should not. Since these workers interact with vulnerable populations each day, a lack of earned sick time creates a strong possibility of unintentionally spreading illnesses to others.
Working families should not risk their financial security to do what is right for their own health and for that of the public. As a non-profit organization, PathWays PA works with many working families facing difficult economic times and I would like to thank you for taking the time to highlight this important issue and the need for earned sick time.