Sunday, May 31, 2009

California Worker Works While Sick With Flu

California worker Claire lives in Los Angeles. Because she could not afford to take off from work, she had to work while she had the flu. Watch her story.

To help workers like Claire, please sign the petition for paid sick days for California workers.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dr. Virus' Radio Ad to Lure Paid Sick Days Superwoman

Denise was driving home from the airport. She was in good spirits. She had spent the week at her aunt's house in Inglewood. Denise and her aunt were very close. Her aunt had raised her after her parents had died in a car accident when she was eight years old.

Denise turned on the radio and listened to her favorite radio talk show. The host discussed the importance of treating workers with respect and dignity. Denise smiled.

Midway through the program, a radio ad aired. Sinister music played in the background. A man with an evil laugh announced,"Paid Sick Days Superwoman, I'm Dr. Virus. My people have looked for you all over town and we can't find you. We've walked the streets and no one knows where you live. You don't have a web site and you don't have an e-mail address. We've looked for you in the phonebook and you're not listed."

Dr. Virus paused for a second. He then said, "We're airing this radio ad in hopes that we'll find you. Paid Sick Days Superwoman, if you're listening, please come down and meet with us next Wednesday at 8:00 at night. We'll be on the street corner of First and Santa Clara in downtown San Jose. We'll be dressed in black with signs."

A muffled voice said, "Don't go, it's a . . ."

Dr. Virus shouted, "Get out of here. You're not going to ruin our plan."

The commercial then ended. Denise turned off the radio. She didn't know what to think. Who was Dr. Virus? Was he was a good doctor? Or was he connected to evil? And who was the person who had tried to warn her? Did this person have good intentions? Or maybe the person didn't want her help workers.

Denise wished she could talk to her aunt who was a longtime activist in the labor movement. However, no one could know that she was Paid Sick Days Superwoman.

Denise had about a week to ponder about her dilemma. By that time, she would know what her plan of action was.

Stay tuned for the next blog post. If you haven't signed the petition for paid sick days for California workers, please sign it. Every signature will make a difference.

Worker Fired by Pharmacy for Being Sick

Andrea lives in Los Angeles. She was fired by a pharmacy for being sick. Watch Andrea's story.

To help workers like Andrea, please sign the petition for paid sick days for California workers. Together, we can make a difference in workers' lives.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dr. Virus' Evil Plan to Take Away Paid Sick Days Superwoman's Powers

The lights were dim in the office. The air smelled like mildew. The withered front door was cracked open slightly.

Inside the office, Dr. Virus was surrounded by a few of his cronies. Dr. Virus stared at the latest article about Paid Sick Days Superwoman. He was livid.

"We need to stop Paid Sick Days Superwoman now," he said angrily. "She's written compelling petitions that have convinced three businesses to give their workers paid sick days over the past month. Next, she'll be writing opinion-editorials for major newspapers and speeches for California's leaders on paid sick days. Then she'll be able to pass legislation that will cover the six million California workers who currently lack paid sick days."

"What's wrong with that?" someone asked.

"Because we can't allow workers to have paid sick days," said Dr. Virus. "I thrive on workers coming to work sick. It hurts everyone and that's what makes me tick."

"Aren't you a doctor?" another person asked.

"I'm not a real doctor," replied Dr. Virus. "Years ago, I was expelled from medical school because I enjoyed getting people sick. They told me that my ideas and beliefs were very dangerous."

"Maybe you should change," said someone.

"Once evil always evil," Dr. Virus chuckled.

"How are you going to stop her?" another person asked.

"I've invented a machine that will take away her writing superpowers," said Dr. Virus. "Once she comes in contact with the machine she'll be reduced to writing at first grade level. She will be worthless to the paid sick days movement."

"I doubt she's going to come near the machine," said someone.

"We will lure Paid Sick Days Superwoman with a fake plea for paid sick days," said Dr. Virus. "All I need her to do is to put her hand on the machine and her writing powers will be gone forever."

"How are you going to do that?" someone asked.

"Next week, there will be ads on California's radios stations. The ads will give her the time and place to meet us," Dr. Virus replied.

"And what if she doesn't come?" another person asked.

"She will," said Dr. Virus. "My plan is foolproof. There's no way that it can fail."

The room was silent for a few seconds. Then there was a loud noise. It sounded like someone had slammed the door.

"What was that?" Dr. Virus asked.

"Maybe the wind," someone replied.

Another person muttered underneath her breath, "Most likely a spy."

Can Dr. Virus be stopped? Stay tuned for the next post for Paid Sick Days Superwoman.

In the meantime, if you haven't signed the petition for Paid Sick Days for California workers, do it now. Paid Sick Days Superwoman needs your support to continue her fight for justice.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Case for Paid Sick Days

The San Francisco Chronicle recently published an opinion-editorial titled, "A case for paid sick days." The opinion-editorial was written by Ellen Wu, who is the executive director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network along with Dr. Rajiv Bhatia, who is a co-author of the 2008 health impact assessment of California's proposed Paid Sick Days law.

Their opinion-editorial stated in part:

"Concerns over the recent swine influenza virus appear to be cooling for the moment, but this shouldn't mean that we stop thinking about how to prevent communicable disease. Influenza is an annual and tragic event: Each year, 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets seasonal influenza (the flu), more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and about 36,000 people die. Guaranteeing paid sick days to workers is an important step toward preventing spread of illness and promoting public health."

To read more, click here.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Paid Sick Days Superwoman Saves Pizza Workers

It was Sunday afternoon. Denise was in the mood for pizza. She looked on the Internet and found a pizza parlor in San Jose that specialized in vegetarian pizzas. She ordered a pizza topped with mushrooms, bell peppers and onions along with a cup of freshly squeezed lemonade and a small salad.

Thirty minutes later, Denise's meal was delivered to her door. Denise paid for her meal and gave the worker a generous tip. When Denise opened the pizza's box, she found a note.

We are very lucky that we have paid sick days. Our owner knows that it's important that we don't come to work sick. However, we are deeply concerned about another pizza parlor. Workers come to work sick all the time because they don't have paid sick days. It's bad for customers and it's bad for business.

We've heard that there is a new superhero in town and her name is Paid Sick Days Superwoman. We want her to attend the workers' meeting at 7 p.m. in Sunnyvale. If you know Paid Sick Days Superwoman, please tell her about the meeting.

Denise looked at her watch. It was 5:30 p.m. There was ample time to eat her dinner and go to the meeting. Denise savored her meal. It was delicious.

Denise went into her bedroom's closet and pulled out her paid sick days costume. She put on her purple t-shirt that had Paid Sick Days Superwoman embalmed on it and a pair of purple leggings. Denise then put on wire-brimmed glasses and an auburn wig that she had recently bought. Now, she was ready for action.

It was 6:30 p.m. Denise left her apartment in downtown San Jose and drove to the workers' meeting in Sunnyvale. She parked her car and walked to the pizza parlor.

When she arrived, she was greeted by loud cheers.

"Oh my goodness, it's Paid Sick Days Superwoman," said one of the workers.

"We are so glad that you came," said another worker.

"I'm glad to be here," said Denise. "How can I help you?"

A worker walked up to Denise with a handwritten note. "I'm with a group of workers who work for the pizza parlor in Sunnyvale. We understand that our brothers and sisters in San Jose have paid sick days. However, they work for a different owner. Our owner won't give us paid sick days. We've tried writing a petition but we can't figure out the right words. We heard that you're an excellent writer. We're hoping that you could write the petition for us."

"Just tell me what you want," said Denise. "And I'll write it."

Denise heard comments from different workers. She took down the comments on a yellow notepad. After the workers were done speaking, Denise began writing the text for the petition. Within twenty minutes, she was done.

Denise read the petition to the workers. They all cheered. Denise asked the workers to sign the petition and they all did.

One worker walked up to Denise and said, "Paid Sick Days Superwoman, thank you for your help. The owner is in her office. We've asked her to come out and meet with us. She'll be here in a couple of minutes."

"That's great," said Denise.

When the owner came out into the room, one of the workers handed her the petition. The owner quickly read it. She then looked at Paid Sick Days Superwoman.

"I'm a former law school professor. Your petition is extremely well written. Your arguments are succinct. This is probably the best petition that I've ever read," said the owner.

Denise smiled and said, "Thank you for your kind words."

"You're welcome. After reading your petition, I've decided that I will enact a policy that provides all my workers with paid sick days. This policy is effective today."

The workers cheered. In unison, they said, "Paid Sick Days Superwoman is our hero."

"Thank you," said Denise.

"Is there anything we can do for you?" asked one of the workers.

"Yes, please sign the petition for paid sick days for California workers. And tell your friends and family about the petition.

"We will do that," the workers replied in unison.

Sick School Bus Driver Vomits While Driving Bus

The Hartford Advocate recently published an article, "Sick and Fired: Labor's push to mandate paid sick days — and the business lobby's slightly inaccurate facts." The article notes that Connecticut workers are fighting to pass statewide paid sick days legislation. The article depicts the plight of a school bus driver who vomited while she was driving her bus because she couldn't afford to stay home.

The article states in part:

Consider Marie's story, then ask yourself if you'd want her driving your kids to school, rather than staying home sick in bed.

Marie shuttles Bridgeport children to schools in leafy suburbs like Trumbull and Easton. Marie (whose real name we're withholding because she fears retaliation for speaking out against her employer) works through colds, fevers and flu because if she calls out sick, she doesn't get paid. Without the pay, she can't afford her blood pressure medication, and without the medication, she sometimes gets too sick to work.

Last year, she went to work so sick she had to pull her school bus over and vomit on the side of the road — twice. Marie had already missed several half-days due to illness. Any more, her employer told her, and she'd be out of a job.

To read more, click here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Senior Citizen Goes to Work Sick

Daislyn is a senior citizen. She works part-time because she doesn't receive social security. Daislyn works for a nonprofit that doesn't provide paid sick days. Daislyn has gone to work sick because she can't afford to stay home.

Watch her story.

Help workers like Daislyn by signing the petition for paid sick days for California workers.

Worker Had to Choose Between Feeding Her Son and Going to Work Sick

Sylvia is a mother and a grandmother. Sylvia tells her story about working for an employer that did not provide paid sick days. If she stayed home sick, she did not get paid. Sylvia had to choose between feeding her son and going to work sick.

Watch her story.

Help workers like Sylvia by signing the petition for paid sick days for California workers.