“The lack of paid sick days decreases workers’ financial security and hurts our economy,” Garrett Martin, executive director of Maine Center for Economic Policy, said in a statement sent to Mainebiz. “Mainers lose $115 million in wages every year as a result of sick leave, while productivity and public health both take a hit when people show up to work sick.”
In its “State of Working Maine 2018” report, which was released last November, MCEP stated paid sick leave is a requirement in 10 states (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) and the District of Columbia.
“Workers without paid sick leave are three times more likely to forgo medical care for themselves compared to workers with access to paid leave,” the report states. “They are also less likely to seek medical care for their family members. Ultimately, this means worse health for employees and increased costs for employers down the line, when minor illnesses become chronic conditions.”
The report states that there’s a strong correlation between a worker’s hourly wage and paid sick leave, with 67% of those earning up to $12 and hour receiving no paid sick leave, while only 11% of those being paid $29/hour and up receive no paid sick leave benefit.