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Advocates call for paid sick days in Philadelphia

March 13, 2010

The campaign for paid sick days in Philadelphia got a boost last week when more than forty people came to the Central Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library to learn about the need for earned sick time and to tell their stories.

A diverse group of panel members agreed that employees should not need to work sick. The owner of a child care center explained how she saved money by providing the opportunity for workers to earn sick time, since one sick worker at home was less costly than if that worker infected other staff.

Other speakers and audience members said it was the public health risk created by working sick that convinced them support earned sick days. One restaurant worker explained: “One person gets sick, and then the next person gets sick. But if someone could take off… maybe the circle would be broken.”

PathWays PA, WOMEN’S WAY, and other members of the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces sponsored the forum event to draw attention to the need for earned sick time.  There was lots to learn. Panelists like Vicki Shabo, Director, Work & Family Programs for the National Partnership for Women and Families, and Carol Goertzel, President/CEO of PathWays PA, said that in Pennsylvania:

  • 40 percent of all private sector workers lack access to job-protected earned sick time.
  • Among food service workers and child care workers, 73 percent lack any access to earned sick time.
  • 46 percent of all workers lack earned sick time.

If we’ve got your attention, you can see and download the presentations for yourself on our blog!

The event got great news coverage. You can read about it in The Philadelphia Inquirer, KYW1060 Newsradio (two articles); and The Examiner.  To learn more about the Coalition (and sign our petition to support earned sick time in Pennsylvania), please visit our blog.

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