If Your Waiter Is Sick Do You Want Them Sneezing In Your Linguini? Move Earned Sick Days Forward

NJ.com — Thursday, May 30, 2013

By John D. Atlas / NJ Voices

It's Sickening!

Last week NJ Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, a Camden County Democrat, introduced a bill that would provide Earned Sick and Safe Days to all New Jersey workers. The law would allow workers to earn paid sick days.
pam lampitt.jpgView full size

Its a simple concept – if you get sick or a loved one gets sick and needs care, you wouldn't have to worry about losing a day's pay or even your job, if you stayed home. This would also help to avoid one worker with the flu, who can't afford to miss a day's work, giving it to another on the job.

Lampitt says, "For every 30 hours someone works, they'll accrue one hour of leave capping it at what equals to nine days of sick time. This only focuses on employees in the State of New Jersey, who are not currently earning sick time.

Who could be against that? Of course the restaurant and lodging businesses who only care about their profits and New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. And they will rile up the middle class ideologues and rich people, who join and finance groups like the Tea Party. Those folks stand ready to oppose any government mandate that will help workers, especially the working poor. You know the type: "Why should my business incur the cost of providing sick days to a bunch of freeloading lazy minorities and immigrants who don't want to work hard?"

I think that most decent people think that our 1.2 million New Jersey workers, 38 percent of the state's private-sector workforce who lack earned sick days, should have this minimal protection.

Also common sense says you don't want people going to work sick, putting the health of their coworkers and the public at risk, while dragging down business productivity.

But here's the thing. This legislation does not yet have any cosponsors in the New Jersey State Assembly.

New Jersey Citizen Action and New Jersey Policy Perspectives are two groups leading the fight for this bill. Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, Citizen Action ED says this common sense policy would provide a minimum standard of earned sick days for all of New Jersey's workers, boost the state economy, and make the state a healthier place to live and work. "Workers need to be able to take a day off. If a waiter is sick you don't want them sneezing in your linguini," she said.

Her group also has a way to help you get this legislation passed. If you want to help yourself or make sure NJ values common sense and decency, here's what you do.

Go to NJCA's website to help move your State Assembly member to cosponsor this important bill (A-4125 — click here) to provide earned sick days to all New Jersey private sector workers!

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