Should we have paid sick days? (S497)

Summary for Congressional bill S 497 (114th):

  • Requires employers with more than 14 employees to provide 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.
  • Employees allowed to earn up to 7 days (56 hours) a year unless employer allows for more
  • Requires small employers with less than 15 employees to provide job-protected, unpaid sick time.
  • Can be used for personal physical or mental sickness, sickness in family, preventative care, and domestic abuse.

In Depth:

  • Nearly 40% of the US private sector workforce does not have paid sick time, impacting the poorer more.
  • Studies show that emergency room visits would be reduced significantly.
  • Studies also show that contagious diseases are less likely to spread.

Vote Yes if you believe:

  • Getting sick or having a sick child should not cost people their income or job. #CivilActions #PaidSickDays
  • This would reduce the burden on our healthcare system, including less emergency room visits. #Healthcare
  • When sick, for productivity & coworkers’ health, it is better to rest at home than to come into work. #PaidSickDays

Vote No if you believe:

  • Employees would exploit this time as extra vacation days. #LaborAndEmployment #PaidSickDays
  • This would decrease efficiency and increase costs for business, especially small businesses.

Congress.gov link to S 497

(This is the 1st draft of the summary for a bill in Polinav. Summary & In-Depth is non-partisan & Vote yes/no reasons are fact-checked. if you think something is wrong, should be added or deleted, comment below!)


This shows what I don’t like about pure market capitalism, that we would have to legislate something like this. Without compassion within capitalism, where the quality of life is put above pure profits, you need to legislate things like paid sick days.

I think that a company should pay their employees (at a lower rate, maybe somewhere b/t 60-90% of their normal pay) if they are in the situations listed here: physical, mental sickness; taking care of issues around domestic abuse; caring for the sick in your family. Then, there should be a system where if it’s serious enough that they need to take significant time off, then the government can step in and take care of them until they’re able to work again.

That’s the kind of system that I’d want, but this bill would be a good step forward within our current societal context. And honestly, I think this makes good business sense, too, except in the most extreme cases. A company would want their employees to be of full mind & body. They should want their employees to recover from sickness and not have to worry about money during those times. It may not make sense from a pure profit perspective, but is that what we want within our society?

I would want my representatives to vote YES on this bill!

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