Or, States That Don't Suck For Employees, Part IV
Oh, sure, if you're lucky enough to qualify for Family and Medical Leave, you may or may not get some paid time off if you have a serious medical condition. You're paid under that law if you have any paid sick leave or vacation time, and then the rest of the leave is unpaid. However, whether or not you get any paid sick time is up to your employer.
That is, unless you live in a state beginning with the letter C.
California became the second state in the nation to mandate paid sick leave under the law signed this week. Most employees will accrue three paid sick days per year, at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. San Francisco and San Diego already had a mandatory paid sick leave ordinance in place.
Connecticut was the first state to mandate sick leave. Employers with 50 or more employees, unless they are non-profits, must provide 1 hour of sick leave per 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year of paid sick time to service workers.
Massachusetts may break the C trend because voters there will get to approve a paid sick leave law when they vote in November.
Five cities in New Jersey have paid sick leave ordinances. So have two cities in Oregon. New York City has a paid sick leave law, along with Seattle and Washington, D.C.
The U.S. is the only major Western country without any law requiring paid sick leave for employees. Of 22 countries studied, we are the only country that provides zero paid sick leave for a worker undergoing a 50-day cancer treatment and we're 1 of only 3 countries that does not provide paid sick days for a worker missing 5 days of work due to the flu.
Making workers come to work sick is bad for everyone. It spreads illness and results in crappy morale. Hopefully more states (or even Congress) will wake up soon.