I don't live in Winthrop!!

On the upside, at least they used my quote.

From the KJ:

Physicians and advocates for women and children released a study Thursday concluding a new bill that mandates paid sick time would help reduce the spread of serious illnesses such as the H1N1 virus.

The Maine Women's Policy Center, which commissioned the study from Human Impact Partners of Oakland, Calif., is working to build support for L.D. 1665, which would require all Maine businesses to offer at least some paid sick time.


Dr. Daniel Summers, of Winthrop, said the recent scare with the H1N1 flu virus has brought the need for paid sick leave to the forefront. He said those who stay home get well faster and help prevent the spread of illness through schools and work places.

Also, the study by Human Impact Partners stated that 92 percent of restaurant workers in Maine don't have paid sick days, which makes it more likely that they are spreading disease in restaurants.

"This is as close to a slam dunk as you're going to find in any legislation," Summers said.

Unsurprisingly, the business community is opposed.

David Clough, Maine state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, called the bill "a job killer."

"It's the worst bill ever introduced on this issue," he said. "There can't be a worse time economically to talk about increasing costs of employing people."

The worst bill ever introduced? Uh, color me skeptical. Methinks Mr. Clough would oppose any bill on this issue, which is unsurprising as that's what he's paid to do. I don't actually have numbers handy, but the actual costs to businesses (particularly small ones) are not of a job-killing magnitude.

Again, opposing paid sick leave creates a false economy. Sick workers infect their co-workers, and productivity is harmed. Forcing the working poor (like, say, the people who set out the salad bar in your favorite restaurant) to go to work while they're sick is appalling on its face.


  1. Of Winthrop, huh? Sounds like a case of RDNitis. But it's neat that you're mentioned and quoted.


  2. Did they get the quote right? Inquiring minds want to know!

  3. They got it basically right. Can't really complain.

  4. Both shocking and gross that people still come to work sick, and bring their kids to school or care sick. To infect us all and make scourges last longer.
    I'm surprised drug companies aren't opposed to the bill, too, since there's less incentive to drug yourself into efficiency if you let your body get well at home for a day or two instead of stretching a Dayquil-masked illness into a week of workplace contagion.

  5. And doctors. Don't forget, doctors make more when patients get sicker and require more care, more shots, more followups. Doctors should be pushing to make taking a sick day a fireable offense. Attorneys certainly would back the doctors up, since they could then litigate all the dismissals. Drug companies would then make more supplying the attorneys with stimulants so they could prep more cases and look good for making partner. It's a win-win-win!