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Saturday, September 23, 2017

State earns some national recognition in a good way

Related imageRhode Island is on a roll, going from committing to pay the renewal fee for every DACA recipient in the state to its state legislature passing paid sick leave, with Gov. Gina Raimondo expected to sign the bill into law.

Under the bill, starting in July 2018, workers will be able to take up to three earned sick days, phasing up to four days in 2019, and finally five days starting on Jan. 1, 2020. 

Workers at companies with 17 or fewer employees would be allowed the same amount of sick time each year without adverse consequences for the employee, but it would not have to be paid. [...]

Employers violating the statute would be subject to the same penalties applicable to minimum wage violations: fines ranging from $100 to $500 for every day they have been in violation. 

The measure would take effect July 1, 2018.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Some employers are violently opposed to paid sick time. For example, the owner of George's of Galilee was questioned by State Police last summer when he threatened one of this bill's sponsors with violence. (CLICK HERE). - Will Collette

The bill would mean 90 percent of Rhode Island workers would now have access to paid sick days. In addition, another 44,000 workers would be able to take unpaid sick days.

In a statement, Wendy Chun-Hoon, co-director of Family Values @ Work, said that:
“Rhode Island joins its New England neighbors Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut, as well as the 37 other jurisdictions that have created new laws ensuring workers’ access to paid sick days.
“Nearly 100,000 Rhode Islanders who work without paid sick days can now count on the fact that they won’t be forced to ignore their own health needs or choose between caring for their families and providing for them.
“Rhode Island's law has the strongest family definition of the statewide paid sick day laws in New England, allowing workers to care for loved ones whether or not they are directly related by blood or marriage.
“This law also covers safe time, so that workers can take time off work to deal with domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, or so that they can take care of a loved one who needs safe time support."  
Even in Donald Trump’s America, states and cities can make progress to help working families.