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As I See It

Low income workers deserve sick pay too



For many people, being able to take a paid sick day is something they take for granted. But for many others, it is not even an option. More than one million workers just in Wisconsin are unable to earn a single paid sick day. That means even if they have been on the jobs for years, if they are sick, or if they need to care for a sick child, it costs them a day’s pay. That’s why the National Partnership for Women and Families is pushing for new laws that allow all workers to earn paid sick days. The group points out more than 190,000 restaurant workers in Wisconsin can’t earn sick leave. Wisconsin’s largest industry is manufacturing, but about two-thirds of those workers aren’t given time off when they are ill. Allowing workers to earn sick days is good for families, and for the economy. It also would be good for businesses, with sick employees more likely to stay home rather than infect their fellow workers. Polls show 85% of voters want employers to provide their workers with paid sick time. Proposed legislation in Washington, the Healthy Families Act, would set a national standard of seven sick days per year. That should be a priority for Congress. Because no one should have to lost pay, or possibly their jobs, because they are too sick to come to work.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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