With rolling close downs beginning and probably increasing….
There IS a need for some sort of means for workers to keep getting paid if their job closes down…
And this won’t work for ‘mom and pop’ small businesses that must bring in income to pay it’s workers no matter what…
Why it matters: Front-line workers who serve food, drive buses, care for children or the elderly and run cash registers are much less likely to be able to take time off if they are sick, increasing the risk of infecting others.
Driving the news: President Trump said Monday that he would pursue some form of relief for hourly workers, but left a meeting with congressional Republicans yesterday without any specific plan.
- A handful of companies, including Darden Restaurants, Uber, Lyft and Instacart, have begun offering some paid sick leave as the coronavirus outbreak has intensified.
Between the lines: Administration officials acknowledge the need to allow people who are sick or caring for someone who is sick to stay home from work without having to worry about losing income, a source with direct knowledge of their discussions tells Axios.
- But there’s a concern about creating the wrong incentives to ditch work: “We don’t want to just basically shut down by giving everybody a blank check to not come to work, knowing that they’re gonna get paid for it,” the source said.
- There’s also a question of whether legislation is required to offer some version of paid sick leave, and what proposal details would best achieve the goal without providing workers with blanket unemployment insurance.
By the numbers: About 73% of all private-sector workers have paid sick leave from their employers, and about 88% of professional workers have paid sick leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- But the percentage of people with the benefit is much lower for those in sales (64%) and service jobs (58%), and those who work in construction and farming (56%).
- Just 25% of private-sector workers have at least 10 days of paid sick days a year, even after 20 years in a job, per BLS data cited by the Economic Policy Institute.
- That means even workers who can take time off may not have enough leave to weather a 14-day quarantine on top of days with symptoms, or caring for family members with them….