H1N1

Nov 3, 2009 6:09 PM by Associated Press

Lawmaker wants sick pay for workers with swine flu

A senior House lawmaker is asking Congress to guarantee paid sick leave to workers if their employer asks them to stay home with swine flu or a similar contagious illness.

House Education and Labor Committee chairman George Miller says his measure would protect about 50 million workers with no paid sick leave. Many of those employees work in low-wage jobs in food service and hospitality, where they could make others sick.

Miller says those workers shouldn't have to choose between their paychecks and the health of co-workers or customers. The bill would cover employees in businesses with 15 or more workers.

Businesses that already offer at least five days paid sick leave would be exempt. A hearing will take place this month. Miller plans to seek a quick floor vote.

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