Still sick: New study confirms that Floridians need sick leave, or else

Posted By  on Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 4:23 PM on Orlando Weekly

image via fmla insights

Perhaps you haven't been paying attention to the issue of the decade – probably because you're too busy working more than one job, coughing, and going home to pretend it's all OK around 2 a.m. – but, just in case you were wondering, some recent polling basically confirms what we all know: Nearly half of all workers can't leave work without the threat of losing their jobs, even with vomit in the corners of their mouths. In fact, that beats the national average of 40 percent, which is still a daunting fact, even for a reasonably poor journalist.

What this means is that, even though your state has pre-empted localities from creating avenues for low wage workers to be treated like humans, and even though President Obama himself has come out in favor of measures to insure that workers (especially women with children) can get a break, we're not budging right now. Today, the Florida Institute for Reform and Empowerment released its polling, which sampled more than 1,000 potential voters. The results, of course, are grim. Our friends at the Florida Squeeze have already put some of this into context, as have we on numerous occasions, largely because this battle brought a huge scandal called Textgate in its satchel. Also, those who were responsible for blocking sick time were rewarded last month with seats at the GIANT BOARD OF LAW APPROVAL, so we're not playing softball here. Below is the press release from F.I.R.E. Also, if you're interested, here are some ways you can sign up for the insurance exchange on the Affordable Care Act. Know. Your. Rights. Also, fight for them.

ORLANDO – A recent poll commissioned by the Florida Institute for Reform and Empowerment (F.I.R.E.) polled 1,014 likely voters on issues around Earned Sick Days. 

The poll found that of the 734 likely voters from the ages of 18-65, 47.6% did not have access to Earned Sick Days.

This is above the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 40% of all workers do not have access to Earned Sick Days.

The United States is the only developed country that does not require employers to provide workers with Earned Sick Days. But three states (California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts) and sixteen cities have passed Earned Sick Day legislation.

President Obama recently called for states to ensure workers have access to Earned Sick Days in his State of the Union address. Here in Central Florida, voters are calling on elected leaders to do the same.

The Board of County Commissioners, the Mayor, and state leaders are ignoring the will of the people in Orange County. 70,000 people signed the Earned Sick Days petition in 2012 to get it on the ballot and voters overwhelmingly passed it by 64% in August 2014. 

“It’s time we tell politicians to pick a side: side with women and support Earned Sick Days or side with the corporate interests that fight family-friendly policies at every turn,” said Stephanie Porta, executive director of F.I.R.E.

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