As an hourly worker, the choice is simple: push through being sick, infect others, but still get paid; or, take care of yourself and othets at the risk of financial hardship.
There is an economic incentive (and often requirement for survival) for hourly employees to come in sick. Sick time is a hedge against losing more employees to illness than just one by removing this incentive. The only reason I can see someone against this is the "people will abuse it" excuse, which typically says more about the speaker than 'people.'
Some employees such as teachers and health care workers are in jobs that expose them to viruses every day. As a teacher I have students whose parents send them to school sick, coughing and sneezing (because they are afraid to take time off). That infects teachers and staff as well as other students and their families. Now NM dept. Of ed is saying if we use "too many" sick days, we will be penalized and get a poor review and possibly lose our job, even though we have paid sick days as a benefit. Do you really want a sick teacher coming to school? Let's all hope we don't have a pandemic because it's going to have plenty of vectors to nail us all thanks to the inane policies we are seeing these days.
All workers get sick, and many jobs do not pay for sick time. Some even terminate employment or penalize their employees for being absent from work. Yes, excessive absenteeism is a problem, but everyone gets sick from time to time, and in our current economy, every penny counts. Coming to work sick spreads the illness to others, which ultimately results in MORE people being absent and less productivity.
Employers, in the past, have not taken well to their employees taking off when they are sick, or if they had children that had to be taken care of. At least a federal law would protect the worker in this case. There should be more than six paid days a year, because people can get cancer, and treatments take more than six days. They should have a program to allow this amount of time off.
I am surprised to discover that this is not already a federal law. Every job I've had has had at least 6 days sick or personal leave each year. This should be a basic benefit for everyone, as people normally get sick through no fault of their own and need their salaries whether sick or well.
Many part time employer's frown on their employee's ever being sick or missing work, and yet at the same time ask that they never come to work when they are ill. This is particularly popular in the food service industry. They do not want anyone to come to work if they fill ill, and pass the sickness onto the customers but at the same time give the worker no ability to call in sick. This leads to the walking dead coming to work and spreading that disease around to the entire workforce. This is particularly bad in an office environment where the same recycled air goes through a building all day long and if one person is sick, soon everyone will be.
If there was a federal law that gave all employees at least six paid sick days a year, people would be less likely to come into work while sick. If employees come into work while sick, which they would most likely do if they didn't have paid sick days, because they can't afford to miss work, they're more likely to be a risk to other employees and customers. They are also less productive, nullifying the point of working in the first place. I believe paid sick days would greatly benefit the work environment.
I feel that creating a law to require that all employees receive at least six sick days paid per year is a great idea. It will improve work performance by allowing workers to stay home, and not fear losing out on pay, to get over a cold or injury. When they return production will be higher than if they were paid to give less than 100% because of illness. It would create a healthier workplace because less employees would come into work with an illness and spread it around. Workers would be able to be more alert and not under the influence of medications. Overall it would save employers money every year.
I think people should be allotted a certain amount of paid sick days. Some people come to work sick because they can't afford to stay home and miss a day of pay. Other people use a vacation day, which seems very unfair if there isn't a lot of vacation time given to the person. There are other good reasons for giving people paid sick time, namely, they won't come in and infect the other people in the workplace. If that happens, more people call in sick, and productivity suffers. Besides that, other affected workers can spread the illness to their families, and so on, and so on. Let people stay home if they are too sick to work.
A federal law should be created that all employees, including hourly and contract workers, receive at least six paid sick days a year. Many employees in the U.S. do not have any sick days at all which is unfair. Everybody gets sick now and then. Six days is reasonable because let's say the average worker may get sick once or twice a year. If you get a cold and take 2 days off, then later on you may get the flu and need another 3 or 4 days off. It's better if sick people stay home because if they come into the office with their germs to spread, more employees will become sick and the businesses will be even more productive.
Because many different conditions, most of them personal, can contribute to illness, I do not think that it is the responsibility of employers to provide paid sick days. For example, I do not think that an employer should be expected to pay for sick days relating to personal choices, like drinking or smoking, or resulting from generally unhealthy life choices.
Asking businesses to provide paid sick days to hourly employees is unfair. It places an undue burden on small businesses. Not only do they have to pay the worker who is sick, they then have to pay someone else to do the work. Due to the prolonged down turn in the economy, employers are hurting. It is imprudent to propose new laws that discourage small businesses from hiring. Furthermore, this would change the status of many hourly wage earners. When one is sick, frequently, the schedule can just be rearranged, so that the hours are made up later in the week. One simply switches shifts. This is frequently done for convenience, even when no one is sick. However, with this new regulation, such flexibility would not be allowed. This law might also place a burden on the employee. If one wants to take sick day and be paid for it, then employers would likely require a doctor's note. Instead of just calling in and switching shifts, the employee would have to pay to go to the doctor. While going to the doctor isn't a terrible thing, it is expensive and is rarely helpful for a cold or migraine.
Contract workers and hourly employees typically get paid much more than the counterpart federal employee. If they take sick days, their higher wage can cover it. Federal employees get paid less but, in turn, get these benefits. If contractors and hourly workers got these too, they would basically be getting more benefits than federal employees, and would be earning too much.
The federal government does not need a law to force all employers or providers of contract labor into giving all workers six paid sick days a year. Small businesses are struggling enough in today's economy and this would just be another financial burden for them. This is an issue that needs to be solved on an individual basis based on the size of the business and its financial health. The government has more than enough to do without adding something else to their responsibilities.
It's bad enough that government has stuck their noses in health issues and is trying to force people to pay for insurance they might not want. To me, this issue is just another way for government to stick their noses in companies' personal business. But I would feel that maybe people should be able to reach an agreement with an employer when they get hired.
In a competitive market, negotiations between employer and employee are paramount to an open economy. Interference from the federal government is having "big brother" involved in compensation negotiations, where it is not needed to sustain a more free economy. To create a federal law that mandates sick leave, would only leave yet one more law that exists on paper but is not budgeted for enforcement.
The idea of the proposal would be to entitle people to 6 days off per year in the event they were sick. There is another entitlement program guaranteeing days off, it's called vacation. People would simply treat the sick days like extended vacation rather than using them for what they are intended.
Imagine that you are an employer paying income taxes on your profit and payroll taxes on employees. Now add in the Obamacare socialized medicine taxes that charge penalties if you do not offer health insurance and tax you if you do. Each employee's salary is matched by an additional 30% cost - more if state income taxes are due. Many employers are cutting head counts to stay in business at all. Add in mandatory sick days when employers cannot pay for socialized medicine's taxes, and such a law will shut down all but the biggest businesses.