In an attempt to join the likes of New York City and San Francisco, supporters and some legislators are looking to pass a new bill into Vermont state law that would guarantee paid sick time to workers in the state.
Should the bill pass the state legislature in 2014, workers will be granted “up to seven paid days off a year” in case they or a family member falls ill. A similar bill stalled in the Vermont House earlier this year; however, “legislators in the House and Senate have said they support the bill this time around.” Many state lawmakers, businesses, and the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, a business trade non-profit, support the new bill, giving it an optimistic future.
As it stands today in the private sector, 40 percent of workers are not given paid sick leave, and that’s “including 80 percent of low-income workers.” The push for forcing employers to give their workers paid sick leave has been on the upswing in recent months as five major cities have already instituted such a bill, and five more are pursuing the passage of similar legislation.
In June, the New York City Council trumped Mayor Bloomberg’s veto of a paid sick leave bill that requires businesses with at least 15 workers to give the employees five days of sick time. Those with less aren’t mandated to give the time, but the business still must offer it as an option.
Statistics have shown that passing required paid sick time laws actually increases employment and places no negative impact on a company’s profits. Also, such legislation has been found to decrease workplace accidents by a little over one-fourth.