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.