NEW YORK – The campaign to give workers paid time off when they’re sick is picking up momentum.
A bill that would give workers for Illinois’ Cook County, which includes Chicago, one hour of paid sick time for each 40 hours they work passed on a vote Wednesday. Sick-leave referendums are on the November ballot in Arizona and Washington state. Proposals are also expected to be voted on soon in Duluth, Minn., says Ellen Bravo, executive director of Family Values @ Work, an organization that advocates for paid sick leave.
Albuquerque will vote on a proposal in next year’s municipal election.
Most companies do give their employees paid time off when they’re sick. The Labor Department estimates that, last year, 61 percent of workers in private companies got sick time averaging six to 10 days a year. But there’s no federal law mandating that all companies give staffers paid leave and those businesses that don’t tend to be very small, often with blue-collar workers.