Bad flu season fuels debate over paid sick time laws, with eyes on a proposal in NYC

  • Article by: JENNIFER PELTZ , Associated Press
  • Updated: January 20, 2013 - 6:29 PM

NEW YORK - Sniffling, groggy and afraid she had caught the flu, Diana Zavala dragged herself in to work anyway for a day she felt she couldn't afford to miss.

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phatcatpatJan. 20, 1311:20 AM

If you want sick pay you need to go to work for a company that offers sick pay. I was told by liberals that if I don't want to work in a place that has a union don't apply in a place that has one. Makes perfect sense.

falcon1681Jan. 20, 1311:54 AM

But, you'll still continue to try and destroy unions, right?

Wally_99Jan. 20, 1312:21 PM

Surprisingly, the article doesn't address the fundamental issue of the "PTO" concept (paid time off). PTO, which most businesses use as their operating principle, means you are paid for time off, but "time off" doesn't mean vacation. It means vacation OR being sick. People don't want to burn their vacation, so they go to work sick so as to save their vacation. There is a mathematical equation involved in figuring out the lost productivity for multiple people being sick vs. the lost productivity of one person who stays home and doesn't infect others at the office.

MellersJan. 20, 1312:32 PM

If people go to work sick because of lack of paid sick time, the short-term money saved = long term costs to all of us. Always, always, always short-term savings equate to long term pain, financial hardships. Ounce of prevention folks, saves a LOT of money, time, etc.

mplstitoJan. 20, 1312:58 PM

I have worked in restaurants for over 15 years and have never worked for a company/owner that offers sick pay to hourly workers. I have never heard of one that does. Miss work (regardless of the reason) and you're out the pay/tips. Despite all of the handling of dishes and food (clean and dirty) and despite coming into contact with dining rooms full of people there doesn't seem to be any other way. Even if an owner or company did pay us our hourly rate for sick time, we're still out the tips (which is most of what we make by a long shot). I don't even know salaried restaurant workers (managers and chefs) that "get" to call in sick. They usually have sick days built into their comp package but are almost never able to use them.

sailing64Jan. 20, 13 1:09 PM

It was the unethical behavior of people taking advantage of sick days and simply feeling entitled to "a day off" that lead to companies giving out general paid time off to be used for vacation,sick time, etc. I think it was a smart trend in benefits. In regard to the "independent consultant" not having sick benefits. My husband is an independent consultant and he does not get company benefits and is paid only for the time he works. On the flip side independent consultants typically get paid at a higher rate to compensate for having to cover their own "benefits" which include time off without pay. People going to work sick is selfish - they aren't productive and they impact the health of others.

MellersJan. 20, 13 1:30 PM

sailing64: I know more people who have sick time and work when they are sick than those who abuse their sick time and take it when they're not sick. By a huge ratio.

getcrazyJan. 20, 13 2:30 PM

What I got from the article "I want to have 500 employees but I don't care about social responsibility. Lets talk about my needs." Pull yourself by your bootstraps and be responsible so the rest of the people (including those that eat at your restaurants) don't get sick because of your policy. The problem with the GOP conservative "me me me me me and only me" values is that the buck gets passed to other people completely uninvolved in the greed and lack of responsibility of these people.

Gordon013Jan. 20, 13 2:31 PM

I support the idea of paid sick days. I also support the idea of paid vacation. The USA is the only western industrialized nation that does not guarantee vacation time for workers. As far as PTO, I need to be hospitalized before I won't show up to work. I don't care what germs I have or who I may spread them to. I value my time off for vacation travel too much. Think that is selfish? Well it all stems from the policy of the employer.

aandicatJan. 20, 13 2:38 PM

I work for a company that doesn't offer sick time because according to the owner, "there is no such thing as getting sick, you may have symptoms, but you control your attitude on how your react to them." I had to work through whooping cough AND got into trouble from the boss for coughing uncontrollably. I go to work sick, not because I'm selfish, but because I'm required to by my company and my position isn't easily covered by a co-worker.


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