Last week the New York Times noted that 60 million American workers, almost half of all private sector workers, do not have paid sick leave. This made it virtually impossible for them to stay home, as the President had advised, if they experienced flu like symptoms last week.
The Times wrote:
...more than 160 countries ensure that all their citizens receive paid sick leave and more than 110 of them guarantee paid leave from the first day of illness.
If President Obama is serious about responsible action to control infectious disease threats, he should back legislation to grant Americans at least seven paid sick days a year — long enough to stay home until an influenza infection subsides. Then virtually all Americans could heed his advice, and we would all be safer.
In November Milwaukee voters voted overwhelmingly (69% to 31%) that all Milwaukee employers should provide their employees with paid sick leave benefits.
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce (MMAC) has opposed the measure and used the courts to delay its implementation. It argued that providing employees with paid sick day benefits would be bad for business. An MMAC spokesman even called the law "a sort of terrorism."
Several Milwaukee suburbs, genuflecting to the laissez faire gods, have legislated away their citizens right to pass such laws.
Presumably the free market will protect these communities from future pandemics just as their city councils have protected the free market from one more onerous regulation.
Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Cooper will rule on the referendum's legality later today.
The New York Times editorial is linked.