En Español Know Your Rights
Source: 32BJ SEIU News
Subject: Workplace Justice
Type: Media Coverage

Working Horses Get Paid Sick Days. Fifty Million Working Americans Don’t.

From Daily News: Dozens of city workers** rallied in Central Park yesterday, demanding the City Council answer a rather unusual question: "You gave horses five weeks of vacation – Why not give humans sick days?"

That’s a good question. While I wholeheartedly agree with having wellness policies for the beloved animals that pull NYC’s horse-drawn carriages, it’s ridiculous that we can’t say the same for the more than fifty million U.S. workers who don’t get any paid sick days at all.

For starters, it’s just bad public policy to not guarantee workers paid sick days. Studies have shown that not having paid sick days drives up the costs of health care and causes more people to work while sick–which creates public health risks for everyone.

To summarize: sick and injured horses get to take up to five weeks of sick leave (and keep their jobs!), yet more than a third of all U.S. workers aren’t guaranteed the same benefit by their employers?!

More appalling (but true) stats:

•68 percent of PEOPLE not eligible for paid sick days have gone to work with a contagious illness like the flu.

•Nearly one in six people polled in a recent national survey (16 percent) say they have lost a job for taking time off from work because they were ill, or to care for a sick child or family member.

It’s not right that we live in a country where horses are getting better workplace benefits than millions of Americans. Our nation’s failure to establish a basic workplace standard of paid sick days has never been so apparent– and it’s costing workers, families and the public health.

**Make the Road New York rallied along with other organizations in Central Park so that City Council can approve Intro 97.