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Most food service workers lack access to paid sick days

03.25.14

MARCH 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Most food service workers lack access to paid sick days

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, March 3rd- According to a new study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), that conducts research to address women needs and families, less than twenty-four percent of employees in food preparation and serving related occupations have access to paid sick days while on their job.

Also, the IWPR findings indicate that less than thirty-one percent of workers in personal care and service providing occupations have access to sick days with pay.

“Workers who have close contact with the public, such as home care aides and restraurant workers, rarely have access to paid sick days. Expanding access to this important benefit is in everyone’s interest,” stated Barbara Gault, Vice President and Executive Director of IWPR.

The analysis found that access to paid days at work is unequally distributed across the population, with substantial differences by race/ethnicity, occupation, earnings, and employment status.

The organization reviewed the National Health Interview Survey, finding that sixty-one percent of private sector employees had access to paid sick days in 2012, up from fifty-seven percent in 2009, however more than forty-one million workers lacked access.

The study found that American hispanic workers are less likely to have paid sick days than black, white, and asian workers. Only forty-seven percent of hispanic workers have paid sick days, compared with sixty-four percent of white workers, sixty-two percent of black workers, and sixty-six percent of asian workers.

Connecticut in 2011 passed a state-wide paid sick days law and currently, Washington, Vermont, Maryland, Oregon, New Jersey, California, and Illinois legislatures are contemplating similar bills.