Guest Column: Sick? Go ahead and take the day off!
Who hasn’t woken up with the sniffles and debated whether or not it is worth taking the day off and losing pay, or going to work sick and being miserable? The latter option exposes everyone you come into contact that day with your germs but it might be your only choice if you can’t lose any portion of your paycheck.
As consumers, we can unanimously agree that we don’t want a sick person to be serving us, or have a sick child at day care because their parents can’t afford to miss a day of work. When walking into a store you don’t want to hear that the clerk helping you was throwing up that morning but was forced to come in. Giving sick days to each employee is beneficial for all of humankind.
Tempe might have the solution to this issue by making it mandatory that businesses give each one seven paid sick days each year. The City of Tempe is exploring a possible new ordinance that would require private companies to provide both part-time and full-time employees with sick leave.
“It’s so families that work in a part-time capacity have some sick days in case they or a family member are sick,” Councilman Joel Navarro said.
So why are sick days not mandatory for every business in the United States?
Looking at the number of cities without ordinances like this is surprising. With the passing of this ordinance, Arizona will be one of five states with ordinances about sick leave. Tempe will be the twentieth city to provide sick days for all employees.
Twenty cities out of roughly 35,000 cities that span the United States have laws that give sick leave to both full-time and part-time employees. This equals to 0.05 percent. What a pitiful number.
Some believe that this ordinance could hurt the employers by forcing business owners to cut back on hours. If this is the case then it could in turn harm those by giving them less hours each week.
This doesn’t make sense because if full-time employees can acquire sick days then why can’t part-time employees. This could also encourage better employee loyalty and give employees an incentive to give each work day their all. Rules and regulations could be put into place to protect the business owners as well.
Why is any of this being looked at in a negative way? This would mean that all employees would be treated equally, which is what the United States stands for anyway.