Most food service workers get no sick days

Jan. 20, 2013 at 11:49 PM

MILWAUKEE, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Nearly 80 percent of U.S. food service and hotel workers don't have any paid sick days and many go to work ill, a non-profit group says.

The group 9to5 Winning Justice for Working Women said during hard flu seasons like this year's, the people who have it the hardest are women, low-wage workers, those in part-time or temporary jobs, and those in the service, retail and hospitality industries who have no paid sick days.

In other words, those who can least afford it, are the least likely to get a single paid day off if they or someone in their family gets sick. Those who ask for unpaid time off are often told to not come back, the group said.

Members of 9to5 said they are scheduled to join in local events and participating in community services to remember the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday.

In New York City, a bill calling for city employers to provide paid sick days is under consideration by the Common Council to protect workers, co-workers and customers from catching infectious diseases such as the flu.

New York City's Public Advocate Bill de Blasio told WCBS-TV, New York, working parents often face a tough choice when a child is sick, as well. If they stay home, at minimum they could lose a day's pay, at maximum, they lose their job.

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