Sunday, April 26, 2009

Paid Sick Days Superwoman Helps Ice Cream Workers

Denise was at home reading the latest news on the Internet. She saw an article that caught her eye.

Breaking News: Ice Cream Workers Seek Paid Sick Days Superwoman's Help

Anonymous sources have given us confidential information about an ice cream store in Northern California. Our sources have refused to give the name and specific location of the ice cream store because they fear retaliation.

There are currently over twenty-five workers who work for this ice cream store. Workers enjoy serving ice cream to children and their families.

Some workers have worked for the ice cream store as long as three years. Yet, not one worker receives paid sick days. Because workers do not make a lot of money, they are forced to go to work sick. This endangers the health of the children that they serve.

Workers do not know how to obtain paid sick days. They heard that there is a new superhero in California and her name is Paid Sick Days Superwoman. Last week, she helped a group of workers in San Jose obtain paid sick days.

The workers want to contact her but do not know how to find her. The new superhero doesn't have a Web site or an e-mail address.

At this time, the workers are asking that if anyone knows how to contact Paid Sick Days Superwoman, he or she should provide this information to them immediately. The spokesperson for the workers can be reached at the following special phone number that they have set up. The phone number is . . .

Denise stopped reading. She took her cell phone from her pocket and called the phone number.

"Hello," a woman answered.

"I read your article about needing help," said Denise.

"Do you know how to contact Paid Sick Days Superwoman?" the woman asked.

"I'm her," answered Denise.

"That's great," the woman said in an excited voice. "My name is Eileen and we really need your help with drafting a petition for paid sick days. None of us are good writers and we heard that you are really good."

"I can help you with that," said Denise. "Just give me the details of what you want."

Eileen explained the workers' predicament and provided Denise with the name and address of the company.

"Great," said Denise, "I can meet you in an hour with the petition."

"Fantastic," said Eileen. "I look forward to meeting you."

Denise said good-bye and hung up the phone. She then drafted a petition. After thirty minutes, she was done. Denise printed a copy and put it in her purse.

Denise went into her closet and pulled out her superhero outfit. It was a purple t-shirt with Paid Sick Days Superwoman emblazoned on it and matching purple leggings. Denise put on her outfit along with a wig and wire-brimmed glasses. Now, she was ready for action.

Denise walked out her apartment, locked the door and walked to her car. She drove to the ice cream store. Denise parked her car and walked to the store. When she was at the door, a woman greeted her. The woman beckoned her to come inside the store.

"Hello, I'm Eileen," said the woman. "We spoke on the phone."

"I have the petition," said Denise. She handed the petition to Eileen.

Eileen put on her glasses and read the petition. "This is just what we want," said Eileen. "I'll ask the workers to sign it."

"Great," said Denise.

"Would you like any ice cream?" asked Eileen.

"I'd like a scoop of rocky road ice cream in a cup," said Denise.

"One scoop coming up and it's on the house," said Eileen. Eileen then gave Denise a small cup of ice cream.

"Thank you," said Denise.

"I'm going to talk to the workers now," said Eileen.

Denise ate her ice cream. Denise patted her tummy. The ice cream was the best rocky road ice cream that she had eaten in her life.

A few minutes later, Eileen was back with the petition. "Everyone has signed it," said Eileen.

"That's great," said Denise.

"The owner will be here in twenty minutes," said Eileen. "Can you stay until she comes?"

"Sure," said Denise.

Denise then busied herself by reading a poster about different ice cream flavors. The poster was very interesting.

Twenty minutes later, the owner walked into the store. Eileen was behind the counter serving ice cream to a group of first graders.

The owner glanced at Denise and said, "I know who you are. My friends told me about you. Last week, you were in San Jose."

"Yes, I'm Paid Sick Days Superwoman," said Denise.

"What do you want?" asked the owner.

"All the workers have signed a petition requesting paid sick days," Denise replied. Denise then gave her the petition.

The owner read the petition. "Before I opened the shop, I was an English teacher at a community college for twenty years. Your writing is superb," said the owner.

"Thank you," said Denise in a meek voice.

"Your arguments for paid sick days make a lot of sense. A lot of our customers are young children. We certainly don't want to get them sick. It's a bad for business and it's bad for the children. Based on your petition, I will grant my workers paid sick days."

Denise smiled and said, "That's fantastic news."

Denise then walked to the counter with the owner by her side. Eileen had just finished serving all the first graders. Denise told her about the owner's new policy.

"That's great," said Eileen. "Thank you for your help. Is there anything I can do for you?"

"Yes, please tell everyone you know to sign the petition for paid sick days for California workers," said Denise.

"I will do that," said Eileen.

"I will tell all my friends also," said the owner.

College Student Goes to Work Sick

Jasmine is 19 years old and a full time student at Cal State University, Long Beach. She also works to help pay for her schooling.

Jasmine does not have paid sick days. With the California State University budget cuts, she cannot afford to take time off from work. Jasmine needs to work all her hours.

Over the past month, Jasmine has been sick several times. As a result, she was forced to go to work sick.

Jasmine like many other college students needs paid sick days. To help workers like Jasmine, please sign the petition for paid sick days for California workers. Together, we can make a difference in workers' lives.

Worker Has No Paid Sick Days After Eight Years

Jesenia lives and works in Southern California. She is 26 years old and the mother of four children. She is happily married and has been with her husband Victor for six years. Although Jesenia has a wonderful family, she doesn’t have a wonderful job.

Jesenia has worked for the same employer for the past eight years. She makes only $8.50 per hour. Jesenia works full time Monday through Friday packing boxes.

Despite working for the same employer for eight years, Jesenia has no paid sick days. When anyone in her family gets sick, she has to take time off from work. This is a hardship for Jesenia and her family. Because when she takes time off from work, this means less money for Jesenia and her family.

Jesenia cannot stress enough how important paid sick days is to her family and her. She is just one of the many people suffering the hardship of choosing between her job and her family.

To help workers like Jesenia, please sign the petition for paid sick days for California workers. Every signature will make a difference.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Adventures of Paid Sick Days Superwoman

Denise sat alone in her apartment in San Jose on a Friday night. She couldn't remember the last time she had gone out and had fun. Denise flipped on her TV and surfed the stations. To Denise's disappointment, there was nothing interesting on TV.

Denise then heard a loud knock at her door. She opened her door. A woman with a long purple sweater and black leggings held a clipboard in her left hand and a bag in her right hand.

Denise asked, "How can help you?"

"Are you Denise?" the woman asked.

"Yes, I am," Denise replied.

"You've been recruited," said the woman.

"Recruited for what?" asked Denise.

"You will be our paid sick days superwoman," said the woman. "You will be a superhero to workers throughout California."

"I think you have made a mistake," said Denise. "I don't have any super powers."

"You have super powers," said the woman.

"No I don't," Denise protested, "I can't go faster than a speeding bullet. I can't climb tall buildings and I can't fly."

"But you have the gift of writing," said the woman.

"Writing is not a super power," said Denise.
"Most people can't write these days," said the woman. "The committee saw samples of your writing and was thoroughly impressed."

"Thank you but I still don't think I qualify," said Denise.

"Yes, you do," said the woman. "You've worked for nonprofits your entire career. You've been involved with community groups. We need someone who cares about making a difference. So you're a great fit."

"Okay," said Denise. "So what's the first step?"

The woman pulled an outfit from her bag and handed it to Denise. "First, you'll need to change into this."

Denise went to her bathroom and changed. She looked at herself in the mirror. Her superhero costume fit perfectly. It was a purple t-shirt with Paid Sick Days Superwoman emblazoned on the front. Matching the t-shirt was a pair of purple leggings.

Denise walked out the bathroom and modeled the outfit.

"You look great," said the woman. "No one can know your real identity. So you'll need to wear a wig and glasses as well."

The woman handed Denise a wig and glasses and Denise put them on. She definitely looked a lot different.

"Now what?" asked Denise.

"There's a group of San Jose workers who need help tonight," said the woman.

"Will you go with me?" asked Denise.

"No, you are a superhero and you work alone," said the woman. She then wrote down an address and handed it to Denise.

"I'll leave now," said Denise.
"Good," said the woman.

Denise said good-bye to the woman, locked her apartment door and walked to her car. She got into her car and drove to the restaurant where the workers worked.

When she arrived at the restaurant, she was greeted by the hostess. The hostess exclaimed, "You must be paid sick days superwoman. We heard that you were coming."

Denise nodded her head. "How can I help you?" Denise asked.

"There are sick workers who are working tonight. They can't go home because they won't get paid," said the hostess.

"That's terrible," said Denise. She then glanced around the restaurant. She saw a worker sneeze. Another looked very pale and tired. And a third had a runny nose.

"Please help us by writing a petition," said the hostess. The hostess then handed Denise a pad with a pen.

Denise began drafting a petition and within a few minutes, she was done. She handed the petition to the hostess. "I think this covers what you need."

The hostess read the petition and said, "This is perfect. I'll get all the workers to sign it."

The hostess talked to the workers. Every worker signed the petition. The hostess then showed Denise their signatures.

"This is great," said Denise. "You should give this to the owner."

"We'll do that right now," said the hostess. "Can you go with us?"

"Sure," said Denise.

The hostess along with two workers and Denise walked to the boss's office. They handed the boss the petition.

The boss read the petition and put her hand on her chin. She looked at Denise and said, "You must be the author of the petition. This is excellent writing. You made an excellent point about protecting our customers from sick workers."

Denise nodded her head. "Yes, it's important that we don't infect the customers with the workers' illnesses."

"You're absolutely correct," said the boss. "Based on the petition, I will provide our workers with paid sick days."

"Thank you," said the hostess.

The boss then turned to the hostess and said, "Please tell the workers who are sick to go home and get well. We will pay them for their time off."

"I will do this now," said the hostess. The hostess along with the two workers left the boss's office.

The boss turned to Denise and said, "Is there anything else I can do?

"Please tell everyone you know to sign the petition for paid sick days for California workers," answered Denise. "Every signature will make a difference."

"I will do that," said the boss.

North Carolina Workers Fight for Paid Sick Days

In North Carolina, workers are fighting to pass paid sick days legislation. Louisa Warren, who is a policy advocate for the North Carolina Justice Center, recently wrote an opinion-editorial titled "Paid sick time a benefit for all" for the Fayetteville Observer.

Her article states in part:

"Everybody has a story to tell about paid sick days. And it’s no surprise because nearly half of North Carolina’s workers — 1.6 million — lack paid sick days. Without access to paid sick time, workers are faced with the difficult choice between losing a day’s pay (or possibly their jobs) or going to work sick. Especially in today’s economy, workers are more often choosing to come into the workplace with their sickness in tow."

To read more, click here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Girl Private Eye and the Search for Paid Sick Days

Jessica was nine years old and she loved to dress up as a private eye. She had on her favorite green trench coat with a dark gray hat. In her right hand, Jessica held a magnifying glass. She was looking to investigate her next case in San Jose.

Jessica was in her front yard. She peered down at the sidewalk. There was nothing special about it. She then looked up and saw her best friend Jimmy. He had tears in his eyes.

Jessica put her magnifying glass in her pocket and gave Jimmy a hug. Jessica asked, "What's wrong?"

"My mom needs paid sick days," replied Jimmy.

"Why?" asked Jessica. "The last time I saw your mom, she looked great."

"She needs paid sick days to take care of my nana who has cancer," replied Jimmy.

"Your mom should ask for time off from her job," said Jessica.

"If my mom takes time off, she won't get paid," replied Jimmy. "My mom doesn't make a lot of money. We need every dollar so she can pay the bills."

"Maybe we should search for paid sick days," said Jessica.

"How?" asked Jimmy.

Jessica pulled out her magnifying glass from her pocket and stared at the ground for a few seconds. She then picked up a couple letters that she found.

"Oh my gosh," Jessica exclaimed. "I've found some clues."

"What are they?" Jimmy asked.

"They are the letters s and f," said Jessica. "I think they may stand for something."

"Really like what?" Jimmy asked.

"The letters are somehow related to paid sick days," replied Jessica. "Where do they have paid sick days?"

"I heard on the radio that there's a big city in the Bay Area that has paid sick days," said Jimmy. "But I can't remember its name."

"The letters are s and f. So that must be San Francisco," said Jessica.

"You're right," said Jimmy.

Jimmy then looked on the ground and found a small toy that looked like a building.

Jessica exclaimed, "Hey, that's a toy White House."

"The White House is in Washington, D.C.," said Jimmy.

"They probably have paid sick days there also," said Jessica.

"That's nice," said Jimmy. "But how are we going to find paid sick days for my mom?"

Jessica peered through her magnifying glass again and looked at the ground. She saw a paper with lots of writing on it.

"What is it?" asked Jimmy.

"It's a handwritten note that gives a special formula for getting paid sick days for your mom," said Jessica. "It says clap your hands twice, touch your nose once and point your finger in your air. You then should say I want paid sick days for my mom four times."

Jimmy followed the instructions and said the chant four times. "Now what?" Jimmy asked.

"Turn around," Jessica said. "I just saw your mom walking down the street from your house."

Jimmy turned and greeted his mother. Jimmy's mother spoke, "My boss just called me and gave me paid sick days. Now, I can take time off from work and take care of your grandmother while she's getting treatment for her cancer."

"Mom, that's great news," Jimmy said. "Jessica helped us get paid sick days."

Jimmy's mom gave Jessica a great big hug and said, "Thank you for your help. Is there anything we can do for you?"

"Yes," replied Jessica. "Please sign the petition for paid sick days for California workers. And tell all the grown-ups you know to sign the petition."

"I will do that," replied Jimmy's mother.

More Workers' Comments on Paid Sick Days

In February, we posted workers' comments on paid sick days. Since that time, we've received more great comments. They include:

"No one should have to decide to work even though they are ill. I know one woman who became homeless even though she had a job. Insanity! The fear of abuse is greatly misplaced."

"I have two part-time jobs. I had the flu in December. I missed work. I also do not get paid for holidays off so I fell behind I my bills. I have not been able to catch up."

"Paid sick days saved us during my cancer treatment. . ."

If you haven't signed the petition for paid sick days for California workers, please sign it. If you have signed the petition, please tell your friends and family members in California to sign the petition. Together, we can make a difference in workers' lives.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Single Mom Needs Paid Sick Days

Linda is a single mother of two teenagers. Linda's father is a Vietnam veteran who suffers from diabetes. Linda works in southern California as a security guard. Her job doesn't pay a lot of money. Unfortunately, Linda's job doesn't provide paid sick days.

Linda can't afford to take time off when her kids are sick or when her father needs to go to the hospital. Linda wishes that she had paid sick days so that she could take care of her children and her father when they are sick. Linda's wish is very simple.

You make a difference in Linda's life by signing the petition for paid sick days for California workers. Help spread the word about the petition by telling your friends and family members in California.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Easter Bunny and Paid Sick Days

Jenna was a student at a community college in Salinas where she was taking a class in community organizing. She also was interning at an Easter egg farm.

Jenna enjoyed working with the workers on the farm and taking care of the Easter bunnies. Jenna smiled while the Easter bunnies painted eggs bright colors and made baskets. Jenna then heard a loud sneeze. She looked up and saw a bunny with a runny nose.

"You're sick," said Jenna. "You should go home and get some rest."

The bunny shook her head and sneezed again. "I can't go home," cried the bunny.

"Why not?" asked Jenna.

"I can't afford to take time off," said the bunny.

"You don't have any bills," said Jenna.

"Yes, I do," said the bunny. "I have my own place and I have to pay rent and buy my food."

"Don't you have paid sick days?" asked Jenna.

"When I worked in San Francisco, I had paid sick days," answered the bunny. "But I had to move a few months ago."

"Why?" asked Jenna.

"My grandmother lives in Salinas. She got sick and she needed someone to take care of her," answered the bunny.

"Well, it's good that you're taking care of your grandmother," said Jenna. "But you really need to take care of yourself."

"I told you before that I can't," said the bunny. "Besides I need to help with painting the eggs and making baskets."

"If you do that, you'll get the kids sick," said Jenna.

"That's a good point," said the bunny. "But I don't know what to do."

"Maybe we can talk to the head bunny," said Jenna.

"But she's busy," said the bunny. "She probably doesn't have time to talk."

"I'll talk to her," said Jenna. "I'll be back in a few minutes."

Jenna then left. The bunny blew her nose a few times and closed her eyes.

When the bunny opened her eyes, she saw Jenna who had a big smile on her face.

"Great news," said Jenna. "The head bunny has agreed to give you paid sick days. She doesn't want you to get the kids sick. So you can go home now and get some rest."

"Thank you for your help," said the bunny. "I'm going to rest and hopefully I'll be better before Easter."

"That's great," said Jenna.

"Is there anything I can do for you?" asked the bunny.

"When you get better, please sign the petition for paid sick days for California workers."

"I will do that," replied the bunny.