Sick employee. Image by: Wavebreak Media

Sick employee. Image by: Wavebreak Media

CHICAGO– State Rep. Christian Mitchell, D-Chicago, introduced legislation Thursday that would guarantee all workers in Illinois the right to earned paid sick leave. This is one of many bills that Mitchell is championing this legislative session to improve the lives of working class people in his district and throughout the state.

“Having been raised by a single mother, I know the difficult decision that working families all too often have to make – do you go to work sick or do you take care of yourself and get well? And that’s a choice nobody should have to make,” Mitchell said in a statement. “We need to make sure that all of our workers are being treated with the kind of dignity and respect that they deserve.”

House Bill 3297 would provide every employee in Illinois with the opportunity to earn paid sick leave. The measure includes both full and part-time workers and would allow employers to cap the use of earned time off to seven days in a given year. The rate at which employees could earn paid sick leave would depend on the size of the company they work for. Employees at companies with 50 or more employees would accrue paid leave at a minimum rate of one hour per every 22 hours worked. Employees at companies with fewer than 50 employees would accrue paid leave at a minimum rate of one hour per every 40 hours worked.

The bill includes safeguards that would protect workers from retaliation from their employers and discourage abuse of the system. Additionally, the bill would ensure that service or tipped workers would be compensated at least the minimum wage of non-service or non-tipped employees when using earned paid sick leave.

“Study after study shows that providing sick time to employees is, in fact, both good for business and good for our workers,” Mitchell said. “Businesses actually save money over the long run through reduced turnover, increased productivity, and fewer cases of contagious illnesses being spread throughout the workplace.”

In Chicago, the bill would affect more than 460,000 workers who currently are not guaranteed paid sick time – many of whom are low-wage earners.

For more information, contact Rep. Mitchell’s constituent service office at 773-924-1755 or MitchellDistrict26@att.net.

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