KHON2: ‘President Obama’s Paid Sick Leave Plan Gets Mixed Reactions’ (1/14/15)

The following are excerpts from the article/video by Manolo Morales, published 14 Jan. 2015. For the full report, go to KHON2.

A national study says more than 40 percent of workers in the private sector do not get paid sick leave. They come to work unable to be at their best as well as get their co-workers sick.

That’s why President Barack Obama is calling on all businesses to give their workers up to seven paid sick days a year.

Goran Streng, chef and owner of Tango Contemporary Cafe, has 25 employees. He says that added cost has to be added on to the customers just to keep his business profitable.

Gregg Fraser, executive director of the Hawaii Restaurant Association, says paid sick leave may add to the already staggering number of restaurants that go out of business within the first year of operating.

The president’s proposal is actually meant to increase productivity by helping workers recover faster and prevent germs from spreading.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

The president’s proposal would require seven days a year and a state lawmaker says overall it’s a good idea.

“I’m sure there would be debate and we’d try to balance the needs of the employers and the needs of the employee, but I think overall, I would think it would be something that we would support,” said state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, (D-Kalaeloa, Ko Olina, Nanakuli, Maili, Waianae), vice chair of the Senate labor committee.

But, Shimabukuro says, it’s important that employees don’t abuse that right, so there should be certain safeguards like requiring a doctor’s note. “That at least shows that I truly was sick, here’s some proof from my doctor, and it’s not something where you can just call in and claim to be sick,” she said.

Obama will ask Congress to pass the measure and will also ask cities and different states to pass similar laws at the local level.

See the full report on KHON2.

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