Earlier this week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that anyone with flu-like symptoms stay home from work or school to minimize the danger of spreading the swine flu.
For millions of mainly low-wage workers this is an impossibility because they lack paid sick days.
Last November voters in Milwaukee overwhelmingly passed an ordinance that would guarantee all workers paid sick days.
Ironically Mayor Tom Barrett who joined the Milwaukee Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce in opposing this important labor and health and safety reform is now urging workers to stay home and is asking employers to honor the intent of the law he has refused to implement.
Haven't the last eight years of experimenting with voluntary regulation demonstrated the abysmal failure of this laissez faire approach?
New York Times columnist Judith Warner has written a column arguing that paid sick days is an idea whose time has come. It is linked.