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Sick-leave Issue Connects with Every Worker

By Derrick Z. Jackson
The Boston Globe

“On Election Day, 69 percent of Milwaukee voters decided that businesses must provide full-time workers nine days of paid sick leave a year. Firms of fewer than 10 employees must provide five paid sick days. Milwaukee is just the third city after San Francisco and Washington to mandate paid sick days.

[...] Undaunted by losing the sick-leave vote by more than a 3-to-1 margin, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce plans a legal challenge to the ordinance. Its president, Tim Sheehy, last week told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, ‘We face the prospect of dire economic consequences.’

But no such dire consequences were found in San Francisco. The city's overall job growth remains competitive with neighboring counties, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research. The restaurant industry actually experienced a higher growth rate during the first year of the law than the year before. Kevin Westlye of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association told the San Francisco Chronicle, ‘Sick leave is one issue where people just looked at adjusting their policies and moved on. It hasn't been a big issue.’”

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