On Tuesday, I noted that the Paid Sick Leave Bill had been re-introduced this year and that it was "the one to watch" this year.Banner for Working Families Party website on paid sick leave

On Wednesday, February 27th, State Senator Edith Prague — and others — held a news conference to push for its passage. Christine Stuart, at CT News Junkie, has the details:

For the second year in a row, state Sen. Edith Prague, D-Columbia, a dozen other Democratic legislators, along with the Working Families Party, are trying to pass legislation that forces companies with more than 25 employees to give their workers a chance to earn up to 6.5 sick days a year.

“We need to treat people like they’re human beings,” Prague said at an afternoon press conference. State Rep. Steve Fontana, D-North Haven, said, “I think this is legislation whose time has come.” Last year the bill passed the state Senate by a vote of 23 to 13, however, it never came to a vote in the House.

The Working Families Party has created a website devoted to this issue at www.everybodybenefits.org.  What’s interesting is that this group presents this also as a public health issue, not only a worker fairness issue (though they do not cite in any obvious way, where their numbers are from).  The problem, according to the website, is:

Around 40% of working people in Connecticut don’t get a single paid sick day all year long. Among low wage workers, that figure rises to more than 75%.  Only 20% of food service worker. Childcare, retail, and nursing workers are also less likely to have paid sick days.

Presenteeism – the phenomenon of employees coming in to work sick, but working less productively and possibly spreading illness – costs employers an estimated $255 per employee per year. That’s more than the cost of guaranteeing paid sick days.

A hearing on the bill is scheduled for Thursday; details are provided in my prior post