Just yesterday morning, California become only the second state (after Connecticut) to guarantee at least three paid sick leave days per year. This bill applies not just to restaurant workers, but to nearly all workers in the state of California.
One unfortunate caveat: the bill does leave out those who care for the elderly and disabled in their homes. For some reason, Governor Jerry Brown didn't want them included in the bill, which kind of sucks, but it's still better than nothing. The bill itself allows workers to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
Numerous localities have passed paid sick day legislation — cities like San Francisco, CA, Washington, DC, and Seattle, WA have all passed it and seen absolutely no negative effect on their business as a result. There really is no viable argument against paid sick day legislation unless you're a terrible human being. Speaking of horrible human beings, ten states have passed pre-emption laws that ban any locality from passing paid sick leave legislation, and fuck every last legislator who voted for those acts.
It couldn't come sooner, considering a recent report from the Economic Policy Institute that over 40% of restaurant workers live in poverty or near-poverty. While this doesn't rectify that issue, it would be nice if the people working low-wage jobs were able to take a day off work if they're deathly ill and still be able to feed their family. This is particularly important for the restaurant industry since no one really likes being made sick because your cook was forced to come in and work while physically ill if he didn't want to lose his job.
Sadly, until a federal law is put in place that guarantees paid sick leave (and maternity leave, and a decent health care system, and an education system that isn't a fucking joke, and ENDA, and — you know what? Just fucking everything, we're horrible), we'll continue to deservedly be the social laughingstock of the world. But that's cool, because we have a lot of guns, right? 'MURICA.
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