First of all, Happy International Workers’ Day!
Hundreds of workers participated in a rally to push for the state legislation to pass Massachusetts Earned Paid Sick Time Bill. Staying back home when feeling sick is not an option for workers in Massachusetts because they are not paid for the duration they are sick. The workers argue that management does not get docked if they are sick, but it is not the same case with employees.
Sickness can greatly affect your productivity at work and can also lead to severe cases if no treatment is sort. Elizabeth Toulan, coordinator of the Massachusetts Paid Leave Coalition, said that for people to hold onto their jobs, support their loved ones and sustain local business, paid sick leave is needed. No one should be denied a part of their income because of failing to go to work when sick.
Recently, Oregon and Portland joined other cities that have adopted the paid sick time law. The City Council of Philadelphia also voted in favor of the bill. This is what has encouraged Ron Mariano, Quincy area representative in the State House, to voice out the 2013 Paid Sick Time Bill that is pending in the Massachusetts legislature.
Quincy residents staged a rally in front of Taco Bell, Franklin Street. Taco Bell is one of the restaurants around the world owned by Yum! Brands Inc. Taco Bell and Yum! Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Pizza Hut are among companies that do not pay employees who miss work because of sickness. Taco Bell pays low wages to their employees despite pointing out their commitment to social responsibility. The employees look forward to the paychecks which are low thus forcing them to work even when sick.
The demonstration was supported by advocates of low wage workers, including those from outside Massachusetts. The lay, doctors and other well wishers were also among the demonstrators. Doctors remarked that they have seen patients put off vital treatment because they cannot afford a day off of minimum wage. Taking care of workers’ health is important, but when this is denied, it becomes a cause for alarm in any business.
If the bill becomes a law, it would ensure that about one million workers in Massachusetts who do not currently earn paid sick time, will be paid even when they are sick. Just like other cities and other workers, Quincy employees want the Earned Paid Sick Time bill to be passed into law.