Mayor Bloomberg is likely to kill paid sick time measure

A major challenge for many Wisconsin residents is to strike a comfortable balance between work life and home life. Most people who work and have families want to spend enough time on the job to build a successful career, as well as fit in a significant amount of time at home with loved ones. Some employers are more accommodating than others in allowing their workers to find this sweet spot.

One considerable issue that many workers confront when trying to maintain a decent quality of life is a lack of paid sick time to take care of themselves and their dependents. Here in Wisconsin the state has blocked municipalities from the authority to require employers to offer paid sick time, and this is happening all over the country. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to soon veto a bill that would mandate paid sick time in the city.

Bloomberg said that the bill, which would have required New York City employers with at least 20 workers to give all employees paid sick time, would harm small businesses.

According to a non-profit workers’ rights group that is currently spearheading paid-leave initiatives across the country, 44 million American workers do not have access to paid time off when they are sick.

It is important that workers here in Wisconsin are aware that they may still have access to unpaid, job-protected sick leaves or caretaker leaves under the federal Family Medical Leave Act. The FMLA generally applies to all employers with 50 or more employees; these employers must offer leaves to workers who put in at least 25 hours a week and have been employed by the company at least one year. Such workers have the federal right to take as many as 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a year for the birth, adoption or fostering of a child, or to care for ill dependents or themselves. Wisconsin residents may also have additional rights under the state family leave law.

Source: Bloomberg Business Week, “Mayor Bloomberg Says He’ll Veto Bill Mandating Sick Leave,” March 29, 2013

  • Our law firm in Milwaukee helps people seek legal recourse if they have been wrongfully denied an FMLA leave, or if they have suffered other employment rights violations. More information is available on our website.

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