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senate Bill S. 636

Paid Sick Leave: Should Federal, State, and Private Sector Employers Have To Offer It?

Argument in favor

No one can predict when they're going to get sick, and workers shouldn’t have to choose between their job and their own health or their families’ health in times of sickness.

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05/20/2017
One of the biggest arguments in favor of paid sick leave is that sick employees should not come to work. When someone who is ill stays at home, the chances of that illness being shared at work diminishes. Plus, workers recover faster from illness when they have the time to rest or seek medical attention. The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine reports that nearly two-thirds of servers and cooks say they have served or cooked while ill. This increases the likelihood that illnesses will be spread to customers, causing potential public health issues. Many workers choose to come to work ill because they fear they will lose pay or their job if they stay home to recover. Some also call in sick to stay with a sick child who cannot stay home alone. While some employees do come to work when they are ill, it can lead to what is known as “presenteeism,” which means employees are not working up to their potential. According to the United States Department of Labor, workers without paid sick time are more likely than their counterparts with paid sick time to be injured on the job, especially those employed in health care support occupations, construction and production. Paid sick leave is thought to build loyalty and reduce turnover, which is particularly important in the lower wage industries where turnover is highest. Replacing workers can be expensive. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, it costs about 38 percent of an employee’s annual earnings to replace them, including recruitment, training, the separation process and losses in productivity. There also are concerns about how the lack of paid leave affects health care costs. Many emergency centers report that workers without paid sick leave are more than twice as likely to seek emergency room care because they can’t take time off during normal work hours. So am I in favor of making paid sick leave mandatory? Hell yes I am.
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Stat1stic's Opinion
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05/20/2017
Should anyone living in the wealthiest country in the world have to fret how they will pay their rent, or their electric, or do enough food shopping for the month for their family because they lost one or two days work from illness? Is it really too much to ask that employers offer full-time, year-round employees 5 days paid sick time over the course of a year? How about employee morale and worth? Employees are not well-oiled machines but we are people and we are prone to illness and injury. We are people who work to survive and to take care of our families. Our efforts drive the profit margins that owners and CEO's get the privilege of absorbing; why shouldn't we at least be seen and respected as the people that we are; dedicated yet also vulnerable.
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Zane's Opinion
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05/20/2017
I think payed sick leave provides a healthier and more productive work environment.
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Argument opposed

Paid sick leave and similar mandates place an unfair burden on businesses, forcing them to sacrifice productivity and sales, which could lead to job losses and business closures.

Loraki's Opinion
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05/20/2017
No federal mandate for states and the private sector! Federal overreach!
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operaman's Opinion
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05/20/2017
Since when has the Government decided to force the private sector to provide pay for whatever they believe is fair or goodly. As a retired manager, I personally had employees on some form(s) of benefit for more than six months (off&on)per year. These benefits count towards time in service for retirement and made my job difficult to meet customer service expectations.
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Sean's Opinion
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05/20/2017
This should be up to the employer- along with minimum wage, benefits, etc. it's CRAZY to push these requirements on small businesses. Let the market work itself out- either offer more and attract better and loyal people, or don't and deal with low moral and turnover. Let the business figure out which route it wants to take.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    IntroducedMarch 15th, 2017
    One of the biggest arguments in favor of paid sick leave is that sick employees should not come to work. When someone who is ill stays at home, the chances of that illness being shared at work diminishes. Plus, workers recover faster from illness when they have the time to rest or seek medical attention. The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine reports that nearly two-thirds of servers and cooks say they have served or cooked while ill. This increases the likelihood that illnesses will be spread to customers, causing potential public health issues. Many workers choose to come to work ill because they fear they will lose pay or their job if they stay home to recover. Some also call in sick to stay with a sick child who cannot stay home alone. While some employees do come to work when they are ill, it can lead to what is known as “presenteeism,” which means employees are not working up to their potential. According to the United States Department of Labor, workers without paid sick time are more likely than their counterparts with paid sick time to be injured on the job, especially those employed in health care support occupations, construction and production. Paid sick leave is thought to build loyalty and reduce turnover, which is particularly important in the lower wage industries where turnover is highest. Replacing workers can be expensive. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, it costs about 38 percent of an employee’s annual earnings to replace them, including recruitment, training, the separation process and losses in productivity. There also are concerns about how the lack of paid leave affects health care costs. Many emergency centers report that workers without paid sick leave are more than twice as likely to seek emergency room care because they can’t take time off during normal work hours. So am I in favor of making paid sick leave mandatory? Hell yes I am.
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    No federal mandate for states and the private sector! Federal overreach!
    Like (54)
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    Should anyone living in the wealthiest country in the world have to fret how they will pay their rent, or their electric, or do enough food shopping for the month for their family because they lost one or two days work from illness? Is it really too much to ask that employers offer full-time, year-round employees 5 days paid sick time over the course of a year? How about employee morale and worth? Employees are not well-oiled machines but we are people and we are prone to illness and injury. We are people who work to survive and to take care of our families. Our efforts drive the profit margins that owners and CEO's get the privilege of absorbing; why shouldn't we at least be seen and respected as the people that we are; dedicated yet also vulnerable.
    Like (139)
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    I think payed sick leave provides a healthier and more productive work environment.
    Like (118)
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    Everyone gets sick but not everyone can afford to get sick. As one of the wealthiest nations in the world, we have a moral imperative to care for our people. There is no justification for people dying of pneumonia because they couldn't afford to lose their job by taking sick time.
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    Universal healthcare and yes, this.
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    Being sick is not something that people choose.
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    Since when has the Government decided to force the private sector to provide pay for whatever they believe is fair or goodly. As a retired manager, I personally had employees on some form(s) of benefit for more than six months (off&on)per year. These benefits count towards time in service for retirement and made my job difficult to meet customer service expectations.
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    People should not be punished financially for getting sick. Employers should provide a reasonable number of personal and family sick days per year.
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    This should be up to the employer- along with minimum wage, benefits, etc. it's CRAZY to push these requirements on small businesses. Let the market work itself out- either offer more and attract better and loyal people, or don't and deal with low moral and turnover. Let the business figure out which route it wants to take.
    Like (43)
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    People already lose enough money to health care, and to have people out there who lose money or even their jobs for getting sick, something no one has control over, is disgraceful! Having the flexibility to stay home and get better or take care of a sick child without worrying about making ends meet helps people recover faster, prevents the spread of illness, and prevents poverty.
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    In America we work very hard most employers will only do what is mandated.
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    Yes!!! A thousand times, yes!!
    Like (26)
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    Why does the left hate the poor? What do you have against the unskilled and unemployed that you want to make it even harder for them to find employment? This makes employees more expensive which prices a lot of people out of consideration. Now it becomes that much harder to justify hiring that guy with no experience who wants to break into a field and acquire some marketable skill. "You've never done this work before," says the employer, "and so your labor can probably only make our company maybe $3/hour. But with the minimum wage of $15/hour, PLUS if you get sick I have to keep paying you anyway when you're making us ZERO dollars an hour? I'm sorry but it looks like the only options the law allows me are to intentionally lose money on you or not to hire you in the first place, and only the second option helps me stay in business and keep myself and my other employees in jobs." Once again a leftist policy that claims to help the poor and the worker will have a negative impact on precisely that population. "We should catch up with the rest of the world!" You mean like France with their stubbornly persistent double-digit unemployment rate because all their mandated benefits make it too expensive to hire inexperienced (read "young or uneducated or unskilled") people? What do you have against these populations that you're trying to price them out of the market? It's one thing for an employer to voluntarily offer that benefit (i.e., to voluntarily accept that expense), and is an entirely different thing for that expense to be involuntarily tacked onto employees who may not be able to produce enough market value to justify that additional expense.
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    How is this even a question? This is an obvious public health issue. If you're sick or your loved ones are, you should be able to stay at home instead of spreading the virus/bacterial infection to others. The only way people will do so is if they can, i.e. they can afford to do it.
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    It's not the government's job to control things like this. Protect our unalienable rights. That's government's job. Not to micromanage. #NonAggressionPrinciple
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    One of the contributing factors to the spread of disease is the exposure to people in public settings that are sick and contagious. Many times these people are present in the work environments because they are faced with the loss of pay or the job itself if they stay out due to illness. This doesn't only apply to their illnesses but also to any dependents illness as well. When a child has a fever at school the guardian is called to retrieve the child and misses work and pay due to the dependents illness. The parent may have even taken the child to school suspecting that they may be called later in the day. This exposes the children at school, staff, and anyone along the way. One of the best ways to stop a contagion in its tracks is to expose as few people as possible. Having paid sick/family leave would go a long way to having a healthier working environment and keeping as many employees on the job as possible.
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    You don't want contagious people coming to work and infecting your workforce. While sick, their productivity is low.
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    Absolutely. No question.
    Like (13)
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    The federal government can grant paid sick leave as it sees fit but should not impose such policies on the private sector or state governments.
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