By Melissa Josephs
The Connecticut Senate narrowly passed a paid sick days bill 18-17, and it moves to the House next week, where if passed, it will be the first state to pass paid sick days, as Gov. Malloy made this an election issue and will sign the bill. The bill provides up to 5 paid sick days each year to workers in service-sector jobs to care for their own illness or that of a child or spouse, seek preventive care for themselves, a child or spouse, or seek services related to family violence or sexual assault. The bill:
- Applies to employers with 50 or more workers.
- Includes caregiving for self, child, or spouse (but not parent) and for victims of sexual assault or family violence.
- Provides up to 40 hours of paid sick leave each year, accrued at a rate of 1 hour earned for every 40 hours worked.
- Applies to hourly or non-exempt “service workers” with a long list of job categories that qualify (includes health workers of all kinds, restaurant and food service workers of all kinds, janitors and bldg. cleaners, child care workers, hospitality and retail workers, drivers), but does not apply to temp or day workers or to service workers with fewer than an average of 10 hrs per week in the most recent complete calendar quarter.
- Does not apply to manufacturing industry or to nationally chartered 501(c)(3)s that provide recreation, childcare or education (i.e., the YMCA).
- Time begins accruing on Jan 2012 for current workers and is available for use after 680 hrs of employment (and for workers hired after 1/1/2012, after 680 hrs of service).
- Does not diminish collective bargaining rights and does not preempt or override the terms of any CBA effective prior to 1/1/2012.
A link to the amendment that contains the final language is here:
CT passing paid sick days is a monumental and historical first step as the first state to enact this desperately needed workplace benefit for all workers. It’s about time! Congratulations to Connecticut workers and their families, employers, and the public, all of whom will benefit. I look forward to the day that Illinois and all states have paid sick days.
– Melissa Josephs is Director of Equal Opportunity Policy at Women Employed, an organization that seeks to improve the economic status of women and remove barriers to economic equity.