Thursday, December 1, 2022


Access to medication is key to HIV prevention, a Florida university uses a religious exemption to disband its faculty union, plus Nevada tribes and conservation leaders praise a new national monument plan.


The House passed a bill to avert a crippling railroad strike, Hakeem Jefferies is chosen to lead House Democrats, and President Biden promises more federal-Native American engagement at the Tribal Nations Summit.


The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

No Paid Sick Days: Stories of the Burden on NC Families


Friday, July 10, 2015   

RALEIGH, N.C. - While state lawmakers enjoy time off during their summer recess, some North Carolinians are continuing their work to fight for earned paid sick days.

State law doesn't require workers earn paid sick days or receive legal protections when taking extended leave to care for a sick loved one.

Outside the General Assembly Thursday, Jeannine Sato, member of North Carolina MomsRising, was among those sharing their stories about the burden their families face without paid sick time. She says while she is fortunate to have paid sick days, her husband does not.

"There have been a lot of times where if I wasn't able to take a sick day my husband, if he had to stay home, just wouldn't get paid and there's always a risk that you could lose your job," says Sato. "So that's a pretty scary place to be when you're simply trying to take care of your family."

Two pieces of legislation introduced at the statehouse would address the problem. The Healthy Families and Workplaces/Paid Sick Days Act would allow workers to earn paid sick leave and the Caregiver Relief Act expands eligibility for protected unpaid family medical leave.

Some businesses are concerned about the impact of paid sick leave, claiming it's an expense they cannot absorb.

Allan Freyer, director with the NC Justice Center's Workers' Rights Project, says the benefits outweigh the costs.

"Sick workers hurt businesses by being less productive, getting their fellow workers sick and getting customers sick. Providing paid sick leave is common sense good practice for businesses," he says. "It improves their bottom line far more than the costs associated with having to pay for that employee when they're out sick."

The U.S. is one of the few developed countries in the world that does not mandate paid medical leave. Sato argues it's an issue that should be important to everyone in the state.

"I don't want my server sneezing all over my food if they have the flu, I don't know about you," she says. "But it's a public health issue and it's a basic worker's rights issue."

President Obama has called for national paid sick leave policies, but momentum has not grown for such proposals at the federal level.

get more stories like this via email

The gold dome on the Iowa Capitol has been gilded five times. The gold leaf covering the dome is 250,000th of an inch thick and is 23.75 karats. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

2022 was a banner year for women elected as governor. Nearly one-third of America's governors will be women next year, which is a record. Iowa …


Residential water rates in Michigan are soaring, with an estimated one out of ten households without access to or unable to afford clean water…


Fracking is a very water-intensive industry, and a new study dives into the impact of unconventional oil and gas drilling on aquatic ecosystems in …

Tom Oliver, center, receives the 2022 Washington Andrus Award for Community Service. (Bruce Carlson/AARP Washington)

Social Issues

A Bellingham man who supports people with dementia has received one of the most prestigious awards for volunteerism in Washington state. The …

Social Issues

Native American tribal communities and conservation groups got a big win Wednesday as President Joe Biden announced he intends to create a new nationa…

The 2020 Iowa caucuses were beset with tabulation problems, which set off a discussion on whether to shake up the Democratic primary process. (Scoutori/Adobestock)

Social Issues

A decision could come today on Nevada's bid to become the first state in the nation to hold a Democratic primary in 2024. The Democratic National …


Snow is on the ground in much of Minnesota, but the state is coming off another warm season with notable drought conditions. Those who monitor …


By Ray Levy Uyeda for Yes! Magazine.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Greater Dakota News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021