Paid sick days measure advances to Nov. ballot | Politics
DENVER – The Denver City Clerk today ruled that the petition signatures submitted by proponents of the paid sick and safe days initiative were sufficient to qualify for the November municipal ballot. This decision from the Clerk means that the paid sick days measure will be on the November 2011 ballot, the final version of which will be certified by the Clerk’s office by September 2, 2011.
“We are delighted that Denver voters will have the opportunity to vote on our paid sick and safe days initiative in November,” said Erin Bennett, 9to5 National Association of Working Women Colorado Director and spokesperson for the Campaign for a Healthy Denver. “Polling shows that two-thirds of Denver voters support the ballot language, including Republicans, Independents and Democrats.”
All Denver residents are put at risk when lower-wage workers in restaurants, childcare centers and medical caregiving are forced to go to work sick because they work for businesses that do not provide paid sick days to their employees.
“The paid sick and safe time ballot initiative is all about protecting public health,” said Kyle Legleiter, President of the Colorado Pubic Health Association. "Denver voters know that lower-wage workers in restaurants, childcare centers and medical caregiving need paid sick days to protect the diners, children and patients with whom they interact, as well as themselves, their families and co-workers.”
If the initiative passes, all workers in Denver will be able to earn one hour of paid sick and safe time for every 30 hours they work, up to nine days annually for full time workers and pro-rated for part-time employees. Smaller businesses with fewer than 10 employees would be able to cap paid sick and safe time to five days per year.
Paid sick leave laws have benefitted cities where they have been enacted. Six in seven employers surveyed in San Francisco, where a paid sick days law has been in effect since 2007, say that paid sick days have had no negative effect on profitability, and nearly 70 percent of employers in that city support the law. Not only are workers healthier and more productive; they don’t expose customers, clients and patients to illness.
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