Sick pay gone wild
Aug 26, 2012 | 657 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

Sen. Brian Stack has sided with Gov. Christie in sponsoring a bill to end all sick-time payouts for public workers. Back before organized labor, workers had to work through various illnesses or even work to their death. This was because unless you showed up for work, you didn't get paid. And when you were living hand to mouth, unfortunately, the family bread winner didn't have a choice.

Thankfully, time has changed. While there are no federal legal requirements for paid sick leave, many companies and government jobs have this benefit. Not only does this make a job more attractive, it also helps the workplace by ensuring that healthy employees are not exposed to the illness of the sick employee. This also allows for the sick employee to recover from their illness without the stress of not getting paid. In short, sick pay helps the employee, employee’s colleagues and the employer.

Over time, at least in my opinion, this benefit has become abused. While I am sure many keep ethical practices, others use this to pad their pension when they retire. This was never the intent of this benefit. As stated in the above paragraph, this was to allow employees to ensure a continuous pay check in the event of an illness. Insurance if you will. These days should have an expiration date shortly after the year they were accrued.

I would also support the ability to carry over days into the first portion of the following year for surgeries that while aren't urgent, are medically necessary. To use sick days for a financial gain instead of ensuring continued pay during an illness is simply abuse. And it is this reason that I support Senator Stack in sponsoring this bill. Thank you Senator Stack.

John Hanussak

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