Burlington, Vermont - September 14, 2009
A coalition of Vermont organizations wants to mandate paid sick time for Vermont workers. And they say it's critically important right now because of the threat of H1N1, and the CDC's recommendation to stay home from school or work if you're showing any signs of illness.
At a press conference this afternoon, the Vermont Paid Sick Days Coalition said more than 106,000 Vermonters do not get paid if they stay home from work, either because of their own illness or a child's. And a recent study by UVM medical students shows that lack of coverage plays a direct role in the health of the population.
"Parents that had fewer household paid sick days were more likely to send their children to school with these symptoms. A lot of times the reason for doing so were due to financial or work related issues," said Jo Conant of the UVM Medical School.
"This bill essentially says that any employee who has been working for a business for a year with at least 10 employees and works 30 hours a week can accumulate one hour of sick time for every 30 hours and it is capped at 56 hours," said Barre City Representative Paul Poirier.
Poirier is one of three sponsors of that legislation. He says people shouldn't view it as another mandate on business, but rather a mechanism to control health care costs.