Cape Cod Senator’s Real-World Case for Paid Sick DaysJanuary 4, 2012
Dan Wolf is a small business owner, a legislative leader in Massachusetts, and a believer in paid sick days.
In an op ed in the Barnstable Patriot, Sen. Wolf, owner of Cape Air and co-chair of the Labor and Workforce Development Committee, lays out why he thinks “a simple, consistent paid sick leave policy would make for a better work environment defined both in terms of quality of life and, long term, the bottom line.”
After making the business case, Sen. Wolf talks about who’s affected by lack of paid sick time:
“I find myself wondering this: How many high-wage and salaried employees who become ill, or find that someone in their family needs care, are required to sacrifice pay or job security to take a day off?
In my experience, the answer is, none.
So who is hurt most by the lack of a clear, consistent, paid sick days policy?
That would be employees on hourly wage already struggling hardest to make ends meet, too often single parents with children or elderly parents in need, people we as a society should help.
Surely we should acknowledge and address this. Surely all who support family values should welcome paid sick leave as an expression of that value.
Once upon a time, many businesspeople feared that if government intervened and mandated a 40-hour workweek, the expense (and competitive disadvantage) would drive good companies under. The same was said when child labor laws were proposed.
We have adopted those protections, we’re a better nation for it, and businesses continue to prosper.
Paid sick leave extends that enlightened tradition. It is both pro-business and pro-labor, a combination I embrace as a person, an employer, and a state senator. That’s why I believe we need to start the conversation about how we get there.”