Coronavirus Revives Push For Sick Leave Legislation That’s Been Stalled In Congress Since 2004
The outbreak may give congressmen the political capital to get a sick leave bill through. Under the bill, employers would be responsible for paying for the sick time; there would be no tax increase. Meanwhile, the SEC has become the first federal agency to direct employees to work from home.
The New York Times:
Coronavirus Brings A New Legislative Push For Paid Sick Leave
The United States is one of the only rich countries not requiring employers to give their workers paid time off when they’re sick. It has become an urgent issue for more Americans because of the coronavirus outbreak. Citing the crisis, Democrats in Congress are trying to pass a new version of a sick leave bill that has been stalled in Congress since 2004 — and expand it to add 14 days of immediately accessible paid sick leave in the case of a public health emergency. (Miller, 3/10)
The Washington Post:
Companies Are Putting Out Hand Sanitizer. But For Years, Many Have Campaigned Against Sick Pay.
Marty Flynn knows Orlando’s restaurants. The son of a bartender, he is 29 and has already worked at six. Chili’s. Bahama Breeze. Crave. Johnnie’s Hideaway. The Meatball Stoppe. Now he’s a sushi chef. “Every restaurant I’ve worked at, it’s been the same: No sick leave,” Flynn said, just like it was with his mom, the bartender. “I remember being home alone as a kid because I was sick and she couldn’t take time off. You just have to work through it unless you’re dying.” (Bhattarai and Whoriskey, 3/9)
SEC Becomes First Federal Agency To Tell Employees To Stay Home Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) became the first federal agency to direct some employees to work from home due to fears of a coronavirus case on Monday. In an email to staff first reported by The Washington Post, SEC officials asked employees working on the ninth floor of the agency's Washington, D.C., headquarters to stay home after an employee reported symptoms and was informed by a doctor that they may have coronavirus and should be tested. (Bowden, 3/9)
The Associated Press:
Spotty Sick Leave Policies Limit Options For Avoiding Virus
A barber in Beijing is supporting his wife and child by charging food and other expenses to a credit card while he waits for his employer's shop to reopen. A waiter at a barbecue restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri, washes his hands more often and hopes for the best. A parcel delivery driver in Britain worries about getting sick from the people who sign for their packages. While white collar workers trying to avoid contagion can work from home or call in sick if they experience symptoms of the virus, such precautions are not an options for the millions of waiters, delivery workers, cashiers, ride-hailing drivers, museum attendants and countless others who routinely come into contact with the public. (Chan and Anderson, 3/10)
'Who's Going To Help Them?': Caregivers Brace For The Spread Of Coronavirus
For many companies, the first call to slow the spread of the coronavirus is telling employees to hunker down and work remotely. But that's simply not an option for workers like Hughes — home or health aides, who look after some of the most vulnerable, sometimes themselves without health insurance and earning very little. (Selyukh, 3/9)