Paid Sick Days

There is a move to require companies to pay for sick days. Conservatives say this is “Socialism.”
If basic human rights is “Socialism” then I guess I’m a Socialist! How about you?
In Europe people get several weeks paid vacation each year – by law. They get generous pensions and fully-paid health care for everyone.
What sorts of things should we, the people, require of the companies we, through the laws we pass, allow to operate? Who is our economy FOR? Discuss.

m4s0n501

6 thoughts on “Paid Sick Days

  1. Well Comrade, I don’t think it’s socialism. However it is an unnecessary intrusion into the relationship between employer and employee. As an employee, I was glad that “sick days” were taken away from me and replaced with vacation days. Congress wants to make this illegal? Gee-wiz, I’m SO grateful!
    How about increasing our freedom, rather than regulating us to death. I want the freedom to negotiate my own terms of employment. Everybody does. That way, we all get exactly what we want from our jobs. (and by the way, we all want different things – that’s why a one-size-fits-all idea like this is so bad).
    I know some will say that the disadvantaged can’t negotiate their own terms of employment, or that the opportunities don’t exist for them. Nonsense!! They can and will if the government will just get out of the way.

  2. That sounds kind of naive, jaymuntz.
    I’ve got sick days, and personal holidays, and just try using them…you get grilled and harassed for using the time that they give you to use, and last I looked, that wasn’t a law. Plus, many people are passed over for promotions for using sick time, personal holidays, and FMLA. One person was denied a promotion due to the fact that she had the audacity to use short term disability! (I think that that’s actually illegal…so really, I don’t think your “less laws” screed really works out there.)
    Maybe you’ve never been harassed for using time, and you’re lucky. Maybe it’s easy for you to move from job to job – not many people actually can. So we should abandon all regulations for, what, the 10% for whom it wouldn’t affect?
    Heh, there’s a marketing division sharpening its claws and licking its jowls in anticipation of a sucker, oops, customer like you.
    But I do agree that paid sick leave should be mandatory. You shouldn’t have to worry about being fired if you’re too ill to work.

  3. I know some will say that the disadvantaged can’t negotiate their own terms of employment, or that the opportunities don’t exist for them. Nonsense!! They can and will if the government will just get out of the way.
    Ah, the libertarian cri du coeur: If only the government would get out of the way, we’d have everything we could ever dream of, AND A PONY!
    I always wonder in what workers paradise without government regulation they have seen this activity. In what pristine Eden do the owners of business, as a class, give the workers an inch? Because unlesss you’ve got 100% employment, there will always be another worker, even more so when worldwide there is radical underemployment. And if you are wililng to be a nice guy, well your competitor isn’t, and it’s a race to the bottom.

  4. The problem of workers being “harassed” about taking sick days could only get worse if employers were forced by the government to offer them in all cases, even when both the employer and employee would rather have some OTHER type of fringe benefit in place. I don’t see how a law like this empowers employees. It robs them of their power to get what is most important to THEM, and it forces them to enjoy the benefits that politicians decide are appropriate. Can’t we just let diversity in employment options exist? Why does everybody have to get the same benefits?
    To the point about “where does this libertarianism work?” Take a look at Estonia. It’s #1 on the State of World Liberty Index and #7 on the index of Economic Freedom. Countries score high on these indexes by not passing silly laws like the one we’re discussing. From the Bank of Estonia:

    • Estonia’s economic growth is forecast to increase by 11.8% in 2006 and by 8.3% and 7.6% in the next two years, respectively. Although Eesti Pank expects no rapid economic downturn, the peak in economic activity has already been achieved.
    • Economic growth still relies on domestic demand mainly supported by a prompt income growth and substantial foreign capital inflow.
    • Estonia’s employment level is persistently high and income is growing. Labour shortage and wage growth may pose a serious threat to the competitiveness of several sectors.
    • In the next years, export growth will remain above 10%. Import growth will be within the same range. Current account deficit is not expected to decline in the near future.
    • The inflation level of 2006-2008 will be above 4%. Taking into account the current interpretation of the Maastricht inflation criterion, which is the precondition for the adoption of the euro, Estonia will not be able to fulfil the criterion until 2008.
    • The productivity growth of enterprises together with wages depending thereon, prudent monetary and fiscal policies, and the strong financial sector will help alleviate possible economic setbacks at the end of this decade.

    The rest here

  5. In Europe people get several weeks paid vacation each year – by law. They get generous pensions and fully-paid health care for everyone.
    In Europe the economy is tanking, ethnic minorities are rioting, businesses are starting at the same rate that public corporations start in the US, and it’s politically impossible to fix any of this because after so many decades, the people think they’re entitled to all of it.
    What sorts of things should we, the people, require of the companies we, through the laws we pass, allow to operate?
    Actually, companies don’t need our permission to operate with their own people and capital. We, the people, pass laws that restrict those companies when we, the people feel like using our governmental system to tell them, the people, what to do.
    Who is our economy FOR?
    Sigh. An economy is not something that is for or against anything. Like the weather, it just is. If you constructed a titanic rubber umbrella over your city to protect it from the rain, the rain would still fall- it would just fall quadruply on everyone outside your umbrella.
    Likewise, if you mandate what every business has to give its employees, you’re simply mandating that certain parts of their compensation be diverted into other benefits. Instead of making $40,000 a year, the same job will be offered at $35,000 a year, but with guaranteed sick pay. Or instead of 7 positions, there will be only 5 or 6 employed. And those people, depending on the job, could be overworked. Shouldn’t the employees be allowed to make that choice for themselves?
    I agree that there’s a point when minimal human rights have to be respected, even if it hurts the wealth of the worker and the employer. However, that point is not the government requiring by law that you are paid to be home sick. You can’t change human greed any more than you can change human eagerness to use all 7 paid sick days every year. What this essentially would do is cut the value of labor in the country by 1/52nd.
    We’ve already opened one umbrella, we don’t need another one.

  6. Even from a public health standpoint, paid sick leave makes sense. People forced to show up at work when they’re sick — spread disease.
    But what’s really going on is that we’re in a race for the economic pits. Export every possible job overseas, hire tens of thousands of illegal workers for jobs that can’t be exported because they’re easy to exploit, and let American citizens just go to Hell if they object.

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