Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Imagining a World with Paid Sick Days


By Linda Meric

There are many areas of life in this country where it appears that we live in two worlds. And that’s no different when we consider paid sick days. In the first world, if you’re sick, you stay home from work, take care of yourself, and have the time to get better.

In the second world, if you’re sick, you go to work anyway. In the second world, you go to work, even when your child is sick. You know that if you stay home, you’ll lose pay – or maybe even your job.

As we approach Women’s Equality Day on August 26, the day that marks the 90th anniversary of women’s right to vote, it’s troubling that so many of the workers who live in the second world are women. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, more than 22 million women workers lack paid sick days. And though women still bear the brunt of care-giving duties in most American families, we are also the least likely to have a paid sick day available to care for a sick child. Fifty-three percent of working mothers, as compared to 48 percent of working fathers, lack a paid sick day they can use to care for a child.

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