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The U.S. is one of very few developed nations—very few nations, period—to not require paid sick leave for workers. In recent years, a handful of major cities and one state have passed sick leave laws, but progress is slow. In New York City, for instance, Speaker Christine Quinn is refusing to hold a vote on a sick leave law that has the support of a veto-proof majority of the City Council.
The funny thing is, like many laws that help workers, especially low-wage workers, but are opposed by low-wage employers, paid sick leave is actually pretty popular.
Q: Would you support or oppose your state passing a law that requires businesses to provide their employees at least one week of paid sick leave every year?
Not sure: 15
Independents support paid sick leave by a 54-30 margin; among moderates it's 60-24. Even 37 percent of conservatives are in favor. Meanwhile, under current law with no sick leave guarantees, more than 40 percent of private sector workers have to choose between going to work sick or losing pay or even their jobs.