Due to space constraints, one important angle was cut out of my piece on paid sick leave for workers this week. (To recap: Seattle City Council Member Nick Licata is planning on introducing legislation that would require every business in Seattle to provide paid sick leave for its workers—one hour of accrued leave for every 30 hours worked.)
As some restaurant owners claim in the article, this is a union issue:
“My manager has flat-out told me that I need to choose between my job and my daughter,” says Tracie Chapman, a checker who’s worked for Safeway for 13 years. Chapman is a single mom. Her two-year-old daughter has a chronic health condition that lands her in the hospital every four months. Safeway employees have paid sick leave but it doesn’t kick in until their third sick day, according to their union contract. “I can’t afford to take those two days off but what am I supposed to do? Not be there for my infant? She has no one else.”
But more importantly, it's an equality issue affecting single parents, working parents, and their kids. Twenty-eight percent of Seattle school kids—or about 13,000 kids—have both parents working at jobs with no sick days, according to the Economic Opportunity Institute.
Find out how hipster restaurant owners feel about offering paid time off over here.