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Shanice Patrella
Member Since: 1/5/2013
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Shanice Patrella   My Press Releases

Sick Time? Not On Our Dime!

Published on 7/19/2013
For additional information  Click Here

Governor Rick Scott has done it again, folks. He and his merry band of misfits in the Florida House of Representatives have made a law that cities and counties in Florida do not have to offer paid sick time to their employees. This decision drew cheers from business groups and utter groans from worker advocates. It was just about a month ago that Orange County, Florida was trying to pass a mandate that would have made businesses have to offer paid sick time to its employees. The bill had been signed into law on July 1st, 2013 and effectively blocked that addendum.


According to the letter that was sent from the Governor from Tallahassee (for those of you that do not know, that is the actual capital of Florida), “the bill fosters statewide uniformity, consistency and predictability in Florida’s employer-employee relationships…Creating this statewide policy of uniform application safeguards against inconsistency that would jeopardize our continued record of job growth in Florida”. If you would like to read the letter for yourself, you may see it HERE.


Now, Florida has seen very impressive job growth over the past year. Over this past May, the U.S. Census Bureau Division recorded gains of 17,440 jobs in Florida alone, which was one of the highest gains of employment in the U.S. during that month. Many of these jobs and opportunities that are opening up in Florida are not huge corporate firms or people that are going into self-employment. The people that are working in these jobs are working for lower wages: in industries like retail, restaurants, and customer service. If one of these workers were to get sick and their company does not offer sick-pay they have to make the decision to lose the day’s pay or go to work and not take responsibility for their sick child, spouse, or partner. Also, that person may be sick themselves, but because of their situation they will clock in anyway while he is under the weather. How terrible! Even more terrible is the fact that other people would be at risk for getting sick.


Now, would it be worse to have to pay people to stay home and get better, or keep that money and lose it in potential revenue when a flu virus sweeps through and knocks out your entire wait-staff?


This bill essentially destroyed the right to give the vote to the constituents of the Florida counties that people live in. If this preemptive law had not been signed, it would have been extremely possible that the proposal in Orange County would have passed. The mandate would have been put to a county-wide vote, and the activists that support the bill had gathered about 50,000 signatures in favor for putting it on the ballot.


Instead, the law that had countered this mandate was supported by big business in Florida – Disney World, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the owner of the Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains, Darden Restaurants to name a few.


I can almost guarantee that most of the lawmakers that had voted on this preemptive bill probably already enjoy paid leave, but what about the citizens that are still working at this minimum-wage and tip-based jobs? What about the voice that they have?

CLICK HERE to read the full bill. 

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