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

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.

Click here to listen to the radio interview.

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The Center on Policy Initiatives is a nonprofit research and action institute dedicated to advancing economic equity for working people and diverse communities throughout the San Diego region. CPI works to increase access to good jobs and quality healthcare, and to improve conditions for low-wage workers and families.