Friday, November 6, 2009

A small step in the right direction

Check out Healthy Families Act Would Offer Paid Leave to Workers Hit By Swine Flu. As Susie Madrak notes, the bill's a bit flawed, but the idea is a good one. Although right now I am a salaried employee with more paid sick leave hours than I know what to do with (salary may be crappy, but I am very thankful for this particular benefit!), I've also been an hourly employee, which meant that if I got sick and I stayed home from work, I simply didn't get payed. Plus, there was always that lingering concern that if I was gone for too long, there would be no job to come back to. Although there are plenty of profit purists who would howl at the mere thought of hourly workers taking a few days off for the flu with pay, think of it from a more collective perspective: someone showing up to work sick because they have good reason to believe they have no other choice puts everyone else around him or her of getting sick as well. Do you really want someone with H1N1 sneezing on your hamburger, or a daycare employee with H1N1 sneezing on the toys your kid is going to play with? I know I wouldn't, and I know that I don't appreciate employers who exploit their staffs to the point to where they put the rest of us at risk.

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