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Paid Sick Leave

Report: Tough Job Conditions Can Seriously Affect Mental Health

Certain work conditions – including inflexible or late-night schedules and lack of paid sick leave – can have a significant effect on mental health, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2021, about 1 in every 37 working adults experienced serious psychological distress, or negative feelings that were severe enough to impair social and occupational functioning and to require treatment, the report shows. The findings were based off of a representative sample of adults ages 18 to 64 who responded to the National Center for Health Statistics’ National Health Interview Survey.

Railroads Offer Paid Sick Days, Schedule Changes To Retain Employees

When railroad employees get sick, they’re usually faced with a tough choice: use one of their limited personal days, head into work anyway or, if neither of those is an option, risk their job by staying home. That may soon change. Railroads including Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, and CSX are weighing offering paid sick days — or are already doing so — along with schedule changes and other steps to improve employees’ work-life balance. The sweeping efforts, coming alongside a revised union contract that raised pay, aim to improve worker relations in an industry that has struggled to hire and retain employees. ‘’We don’t consider our front-line workers as simply costs to the company’s bottom line,’’ Joe Hinrichs, chief executive of CSX, said via e-mail. ‘’Instead, they are the primary driver of our profitability.’’ Costs will still be a key consideration for the railroads — and their investors.

Union Pacific Spent More On Stock Buybacks Than Workers

Union Pacific, one of the largest rail corporations in the United States, said Tuesday that it brought in record revenue and profits last year as it successfully fought off workers' push for paid sick leave. The company reported $7 billion in net income for 2022 as a whole and said it spent a whopping $6.3 billion repurchasing its own shares—significantly more than the $4.6 billion it spent on employee pay and benefits last year. “Instead of buying back their own stock, UP should be investing in their employees by offering paid sick leave, reasonable schedules, and a better quality of life for railroaders," Ed Hall, the newly elected president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, told CNN on Tuesday. "This is the only way the railroad will be able to solve their recruitment and retention problems and keep the trains running."

New York City: Sick Days Are A Human Right

A coalition of unions, activists and workers’ rights groups protested Dec. 7, outside and inside Grand Central Station in New York City, to demand full sick pay and labor rights for the 115,000 rail workers who transport essential goods. Their 11 unions were denied the constitutional right to strike by a bill passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden Dec. 2. Coalition organizers called out Biden for his assistance to Wall Street and the rail corporations, which loot billions in profits from rail workers’ labor, while endangering their health and safety. “If Biden wants to avoid disrupting the economy during the holidays,” said Larry Holmes, a leader with Workers Assembly Against Racism, one of the coalitions calling the action, “with the stroke of his pen, he can extend Obama’s legislation requiring paid sick leave for employees of companies with federal government contracts to rail workers.

Despite Record Profits, Rail Companies Reject Union’s Demand For Sick Leave

A statement from the United States' major freight rail companies left railroad workers feeling increasingly "disenfranchised and undervalued," according to one labor organizer, as the National Carriers' Conference Committee rejected a proposal from the third largest rail workers union which called for just seven days of paid sick leave per year. While claiming "the health, safety, and wellbeing of rail employees is a top priority for all railroads," the NCCC said it would not accept the proposal from the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division (BMWED), which was introduced last week. The BMWED had demanded the addition of paid sick days—modeled on a system used for federal workers in which employees accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked—last week as its members voted against a proposed contract that was developed with the help of White House officials.

Lawmakers Are Blocking The Right To Paid Sick Leave

On August 16, the San Antonio city council voted 9-2 to pass a paid sick leave ordinance that will allow residents to earn an hour of time off for every 30 hours worked up to six days a year at small employers and eight at larger ones. The United States is alone among 22 wealthy countries in having no national guaranteed paid sick-leave policy. As a result, states are left to pass their own laws, and in those like Texas where GOP legislatures stand opposed to paid sick leave, it’s up to the cities. San Antonio became the 33rd city in the country to take such a step, and the second in the South after Austin passed a similar law in February. The San Antonio law is supposed to go into effect in January, and Austin’s was scheduled to go into effect in October. But the fate of both laws is up in the air.

Bradley Foundation Fueled Campaign Against Paid Sick Leave Laws

By Lisa Graves for PR Watch - The Bradley Files provide new insights into who underwrote recent efforts to undermine popular public policies that help women and families, such as paid sick leave laws. The Bradley Foundation did, through funding the controversial Independent Women's Forum. The files indicate that Bradley gave the Independent Women's Forum more than one million dollars over the years. That includes nearly half a million dollars in the past three years in response to its proposals for a campaign against public support for requiring paid sick leave, providing better child care policies, addressing the wage gap, and ensuring Americans can access life-saving medical treatment through the Affordable Care Act, known as "Obamacare." The Independent Women's Forum said the campaign -- dubbed "Working for Women" -- would cost at least $720,000 last year. Bradley staff recommended a gift of $200,000 in 2016 to cover more than a quarter of that budget. In 2015, the group had sought $350,000 from Bradley for the precursor to that project. Bradley obliged by providing nearly half the amount requested, $150,000.

1 Million Workers Guaranteed Right To Sick Leave

Last night, four places in the United States voted over whether or not employers should be required to give paid sick leave to employees. All four approved the idea. Massachusetts was the biggest win for paid sick leave advocates — the state is just the third in the nation to require employers grant people such paid time off, following California and Connecticut. The state was joined by three major municipalities: Trenton, NJ; Montclair, NJ; and Oakland, CA (though the state has a paid sick leave law, Oakland’s will expand on it). All told, the laws will impact more than one million workers. These latest votes follow a recent uptick in guaranteed paid time off for the sick, which has found its way into law by any number of means, including ballot initiative, city ordinance, or legislation.
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