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The problem with policies that don't distinguish between leisure time and sick time, however, is that workers often will go to great lengths to avoid taking off for the latter. As such, many have a tendency to come to work sick, which pretty much benefits no one.
The county legislature is considering a bill to require all employers provide some sick time, even for part-time workers – although the smallest businesses would be able to make it unpaid. [Includes video.]
Employees without paid sick benefits – of which there are 34.2 million in the private sector – are three times more likely to have family incomes below the poverty line, according to research from Florida Atlantic University and Cleveland State University published in Social Work in Health Care.
"We're here tonight to speak up for the 350,000 people currently who do not have [paid] sick time," local business owner Julio Lopez said.