Guarantee Paid Sick Leave in Connecticut

workersrights

Target: Connecticut House of Representatives

Goal: Guarantee paid sick leave for Connecticut’s workers

Two years ago, Connecticut became the first state in the U.S. to mandate paid sick leave for its workers. But now this essential workers’ right is under attack by a new piece of proposed legislation that would allow companies to whittle down their employees’ rightful benefits. Workers shouldn’t be forced to endanger their health and the health of their coworkers by coming into work sick. Demand that Connecticut keep paid sick leave intact.

This new bill (SB 1007) would open up loopholes that would make it easier for employers to avoid granting paid sick leave. Currently, manufacturing establishments are not required to grant paid sick leave for employees who work at their production facilities. If SB 1007 becomes law, manufacturing companies could withhold sick leave from employees at administrative facilities as well. Clerical and administrative workers in the manufacturing industry would be deprived of the same benefits guaranteed to workers with similar responsibilities in other industries — an inequity that makes no sense and provides no benefit.

Currently, workers earn one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked. SB 1007 would change existing law so that workers would earn an hour of leave for every hour scheduled instead. Unscheduled work arrangements wouldn’t contribute to workers’ accumulation of paid hours off, and employers could easily abuse scheduling details to avoid paying out rightfully earned sick days.

Every year, the U.S. loses $180 billion in productivity when sick employees attend work and infect their coworkers. Connecticut must continue to stand as a solid example of workers’ rights for the rest of the nation. Urge lawmakers to stand up for paid sick leave.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Connecticut lawmakers,

When Connecticut became the first state in the nation to guarantee paid sick leave, it took a major step forward in the ongoing struggle for workers’ rights. Now, all that progress could be eroded with a new bill that punches major loopholes in existing legislation, making it easier for employers to deny workers their rightfully earned paid leave.

By charting one sick hour for every 40 hours scheduled instead of every 40 hours worked, this new bill would introduce complications for employees who face last-minute schedule changes or work unscheduled hours. The manufacturing industry would find itself exempt from granting paid sick leave to both its production workers and its clerical employees. And because the sick leave mandate only applies to companies with more than 50 employees, employers could easily strike workers from the record during the single week when a company’s size would be measured. The potential for abuse is enormous.

Rather than fix technical mistakes with existing law, SB 1007 opens the law up to allow employers to deny workers their rightfully earned benefits. Don’t move backwards on workers’ rights. Strengthen Connecticut’s paid sick leave — don’t weaken it.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Lena via Flickr

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