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Sick Days May Become Mandatory

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 at 4:00 AM

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A group of doctors, union leaders and politicians brought their campaign to Cleveland to make Ohio the first state in the nation to require paid sick days. ideastream's Kymberli Hagelberg reports.

The Ohioans for Healthy Families Coalition wants a new law that would require companies with more than 25 employees to provide seven paid sick days to full-time workers.  The time could also be used for the care of a sick child, spouse or parent. Employers could require a doctor’s excuse for absences of more than three days.

Harriet Applegate, executive secretary of the North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor says although union workers generally receive paid sick days, 75 percent of construction workers and 400,000 manufacturing workers don’t have paid leave when they’re ill.  She says the benefit contributes to the health and safety of everyone.

Harriet Applegate: “If you’re in food handling or retail sales you don’t want to come into contact with someone who has to come to work because they don’t have sick days.”

Coalition campaign director Brian Dunn says over 3.5 million working Ohioans would benefit from the law, including 40 percent of all middle income workers, and one out of three upper income workers.

For 90.3 WCPN, I’m Kymberli Hagelberg.

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