Not every company offers its employees paid sick leave. For many low-income earners, getting sick is never just a minor inconvenience. It can mean missing a day or week’s worth of pay, and at low-income levels, those hours of work are precious. For this reason, many of the workers’ rights groups that have made recent headlines fighting for wage hikes have also spoken about paid sick leave.
Around 60 percent of U.S. workers get at least one paid sick day per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the numbers are disproportionate for the bottom 10 percent of wage earners, only 20 percent of whom receive paid sick leave.
Mandating paid sick leave has many opponents who claim that laws force companies to scale back on fringe benefits, like sick, personal and vacation days, in order to reduce the costs associated with employees taking days off. Proponents of paid sick leave say that no surveyed company has expressed negative effects from providing employees paid sick leave.
Responses to Calls for Paid Sick Leave
Major companies and some states are responding to the conversation by changing their own paid sick day rules. Walmart, for example, is in the process of getting rid of its one-day wait to use sick days (currently, you have to take a personal day instead of a sick day on your first day out; full-time employees get up to two personal days and six sick days per year). McDonald’s is changing their process by combining sick and personal leave, allowing workers who have been employed with the company for over a year to accrue personal paid time off. And in July, the state of California will mandate one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
How do you feel about mandated paid sick leave? Would it be good for Texas? Leave us a comment on this blog or on our Facebook page!
Atkerson Law – Dallas Employment Law Attorney