This week, a new federal law was introduced. If it becomes law, and if your employer sends you and your H1N1 home, he must also pay your salary for up to five days. But it is apparent that Rep. George Miller (D-CA) plans to go farther than just H1N1 with this legislation as the first step.
In fact, if passed, your employer must pay for your time off for the swine flu AND any "other infectious disease," according to George Miller (D-CA), the chair of the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee.
Sick workers advised to stay home by their employers shouldn't have to choose between their livelihood, and their co-workers' or customers' health," Miller said.I believe many employers would rather pay an employee to stay home with H1N1, as a less expensive option to spreading the virus around the workplace, but it should be the employer's choice.
"This will not only protect employees, but it will save employers money by ensuring that sick employees don't spread infection to co-workers and customers, and will relieve the financial burden on our health system swamped by those suffering from H1N1."
The bill will be heard the week of November 16th and Miller hopes to have a full vote soon. Paid sick leave for "infectious" diseases is just the first step to legislated paid sick leave, all the time, every time:
Miller said at least 50 million American workers are not paid for time taken off sick, "many in lower-wage jobs that have direct contact with the public such as the food-service and hospitality industry, schools and health care fields."