(WASHINGTON) – The Teamsters encourage a workplace that grants dignity and respect to all workers and the union applauds the Obama administration for pushing forward with an agenda that calls for hardworking Americans to receive paid sick time. We also support an executive order that would give federal employees six weeks paid time off after giving birth.
The U.S. trails every other industrialized nation when it comes to mandatory leave policies. While companies have profited from increased productivity from their employees, many have continued to give short shrift to workers when it comes to paid time off. The reality is people do get sick. But when they risk losing pay or even their jobs by staying home, many have no choice but to show up.
Being sick on the job is not good for anyone. Ill employees put their colleagues at risk of getting sick themselves. That hurts productivity more than granting a day off to any one worker would. And in the retail and food service industries especially, infirmed workers can jeopardize the health of customers as well. That’s not good for business.
The U.S. should also recognize the value in allowing a parent to stay home for a few weeks with her newborn baby. The initial days of a child’s life can be precarious for both mother and infant given the stresses of childbirth. While the health of mother and baby are paramount to their family, they should be to our society as well.
It is time that American workers are given the common decency that workers around the globe enjoy. Mandatory paid leave should be a requirement of employers. It’s not too much to ask.