A new study from the Institute for Women's Policy Research shows that Hispanics and those who make less than $20,000 a year are the workers least likely to have paid sick days. Overall, slightly more than 60% of Americans have paid sick days, a number much lower than most developed countries, and the evidence shows that the amount of paid sick days Americans get is declining in recent decades. The new study shows that less than half, only 47%, of Hispanic workers get paid sick days. Even worse, less than 28% of workers who make under $20,000 a year have paid sick days, compared to 83% for workers who make more than $65,000 annually.
It's also notable that only 24% of food preparation and service workers have access to paid sick days, despite the fact that most health departments recommend that these workers not go to work sick. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that some 20% of restaurant workers had gone to work while sick with vomiting or diarrhea. Corporate interests generally oppose paid sick day laws, arguing that such laws encourage absenteeism and hurt profits, but the evidence is pretty clear that the opposite is true. Workers with paid sick days haven't been shown to abuse such policies and the net effects of paid sick leave legislation helps profits and boosts local economies.