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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Should you get paid sick leave?

If you're sick keep your germs to yourself - at home. Right?
Tell that to a school bus driver or waiter who desperately needs the pay. The reality is people either are too stressed about work to stay home. Or, they can't afford to lose a day's pay. Unfortunately, it's the people who can least afford to lose a day's pay who have no paid sick leave. Nearly all managers (especially salaried managers) get paid sick leave.
Now, change is in the works. Legislation has been proposed both in D.C. and in our state of Florida. Both require employers with 15 or more workers to give some paid sick leave, possibly up to 7 days for full time employees. Will this hurt small businesses?
In response to my article in today's Miami Herald (click here to read it), Lenny Booth of Miami's B Screened with 24 employees writes: "It would be very difficult for me to run this business if I were to give employees 7 days sick leave with pay. Each of my employees is vital to the every day operation of the business. At present I give a minimum of 3 days sick leave and then some based upon the longevity of the employee. This policy has been very successful for us (with some flexibility based on emergencies). I would recommend the same policy for other employers who have somewhere near the number of employee that we have."
Your thoughts? Should employers of all sizes be required to give employees paid sick leave?

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