In an effort to cut costs on paid time off, private companies are looking at reducing or eliminating paid sick days from their benefit plans.
While skyrocketing gas and grocery prices may be the most obvious sign of our going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket economy, never underestimate the power of the corporate spreadsheet. According to 2007 data from the U. S. federal government, as many as 43% of American workers in private industry don't have paid sick days as part of their benefit package.
The United States is the only industrialized country that doesn't require a minimal number of sick days for workers. The trend seems to be to decrease the existing number of sick days among workers or lump them in with vacation time.
However, according to an article on latimes.com, lawmakers are trying to curb this trend:
As employers cut back, however, lawmakers are stepping in, with the support of labor organizations and health officials. In May, legislation cleared the California Assembly that would allow workers to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. The bill, called Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces (AB 2716), has been sent to the Senate, where its prospects for passage are considered fair.
As many as 10 other states are also pondering paid-sick-day laws, including Ohio, where residents will likely vote in November on a ballot initiative requiring a minimum number of paid sick days.
Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.