Paid sick days will benefit workers, economy

From the Norwich Bulletin:

It’s one of the first things you learn in grade school: If you’re sick, wash your hands, drink a lot of fluids, and go home to rest and recover.

As the Legislature considers a bill to allow thousands of low-wage workers — day care providers, home health aides, school bus drivers and waitresses — to do just that, some lobbyists would like to recast that common sense as something controversial.

But here’s the truth: When workers can stay home and recover, instead of working sick, it makes for healthier families and a healthier economy.

I urge the Legislature to remember what our kindergarten teachers told us and pass the paid sick days bill. No one should have to make a choice between their health and their income. No one should have to choose between being a good employee and a good parent.

In these difficult times, it isn’t surprising that people go to work sick rather than risk losing wages or their job. According to one study, one in eight restaurant workers has gone to work sick twice in the last year, with symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea.

In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, 10 million Americans a year catch a “norovirus” from an ill restaurant worker. The study also found restaurant workers who had paid sick days were much less likely to go to work sick.

Read more from the Norwich Bulletin »

About seattlehealthyworkforce

The Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce is a diverse coalition of businesses, faith-based, labor, family, and community groups. We’re working to ensure everyone has paid sick days, so we can all have safer food, healthier families and more productive workplaces.
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