Friday, October 31, 2014

Voices of Franklin: Carla Lievano - Vote Yes on Question 4 - Earned Sick Time for Employees

From Carla Lievano: 
This proposal would entitle Massachusetts employees to earn and use sick time according to certain conditions. Employees would earn one hour of sick time per every 30 hours worked. Employers with 11 or more employees would give paid sick time and those under 11 employees would give unpaid sick time. There are minimal exceptions mostly regarding certain city or town employees. This would not replace better sick time benefits an employee may already have. 
Nationwide a big majority — 87 percent — enjoy sick time benefits among the top 25 percent of top earners. Only 34 percent of those in the bottom 25 percent have the same privilege, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Part-time workers are usually out of luck. 
In Massachusetts about one third of all employees do not earn sick time, and are mostly in low wage jobs. To not lose a day of pay, which they can ill-afford, an employee will come in to their job (like restaurant servers and home health workers that are very likely to not have paid sick time and to have much public contact) and spread their germs. They may also may send their child to school sick and again potentially spread illnesses. 
If passed this would allow families, especially low-income families to meet their needs financially and health wise. A single Mom would not have to make the awful choice to send her child to school sick or stay home and lose much needed income and in some cases potentially lose their job. I personally know of a single Mother (at the company two years and a very good employee as far as I am aware) that was fired for the bad luck of having her child be sick a few times over a short period and day-care would not take her child so she stayed home with her child and ended up getting fired. This was at a call-center and was in another state but she had no other options. Hopefully if this measure is passed no single Mom would have to lose her job like that! 
The Institute for Women's Policy Research estimates the economic benefits of paid sick time outweigh the costs and I agree. If this passes we will be the third state (besides Connecticut and California) to enlarge the peoples rights. Question #4 in Massachusetts broadens the scope of these rights and just like we led the nation on Reforming Health Care and standing up to the Defense of Marriage Act let us lead again. 
Join me in standing up for the people and vote YES on Earned Sick Time! It is the right thing to do!
bandstand on the Franklin Town Common
bandstand on the Franklin Town Common

You can find all the details on the ballot questions for this election in the 2014 Election Collection  here:

If you are a Franklin resident and would like to share a position on one of the ballot questions, send me an email (shersteve @ gmail dot com)

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