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Report: Nearly 500,000 Working San Diegans Have No Paid Sick-Leave

Above: A new report about sick leave in San Diego finds that almost 500,000 workers in our city don't have access to paid sick leave.

Aired 2/27/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUESTS:

Robert Nothoff, is a Research & Policy Analyst with the Center on Policy Initiatives.

Rosa Lopez, works as a janitor, she now has earned sick leave but didn't have it previously.

Ian, works as a cook in a large restaurant in San Diego and does not receive earned sick days.

Transcript

It's still flu-season in San Diego, and many businesses tell employees to stay home if they're feeling sick to keep the workplace healthy. But what if you're not paid when you take a sick day? Would you decide to stay home and get better, or drag yourself in to work, no matter what?

A new reportabout sick leave in San Diego finds that almost 500,000 workers in our city don't have access to paid sick-leave. And besides being tough on those workers, it might be making the rest of us sick as well.

Robert Nothoff, with the Center on Policy Initiatives, said when people don't have paid sick days they are forced to make a difficult choice.

"(They can) go in sick and not be as productive and risk getting others sick, or take the day off and lose a days pay or worse. It's not a realistic solution," he said.

Ian Hughes, who works as a cook at a large restaurant in San Diego, said he lost $75 a day every time he missed work.

"One day off makes it hard to pay rent," Hughes said.

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