Private sector workers want more sick days

September 9, 2008 3:12:34 PM PDT
Most large companies offer paid sick days to their employees, but 43 percent of the private work force didn't have them in 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There are no federal or state laws mandating paid sick days, although Washington, D.C. and San Francisco guarantee them.

A recent survey found that 82 percent of respondents considered paid sick leave for ones self a "very important" employee benefit. It ranked fourth after equal pay for equal work, a safe workplace and affordable health insurance -- and ahead of retirement benefits, paid vacations and flex time.

And 77 percent of respondents said paid sick days were a "very important" labor standard for workers.

Half of respondents "agreed very strongly" that paid sick days were a "basic worker's right," and 75 percent "strongly favored" a law guaranteeing all workers a minimum number of paid sick days -- although that number dropped to 66 percent after respondents heard various arguments for and against such a law.

The National Paid Sick Days Study was conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago in a random telephone sampling of 1,493 adults in U.S. households from June 27 to July 31. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


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