Updated: Wednesday, 24 Feb 2010, 8:20 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 24 Feb 2010, 7:20 PM EST
Hartford, Conn. (WTNH) - A new campaign over the issue of paid employee sick days has kicked off in Connecticut. It is estimated that 600,000 Connecticut residents work at jobs that do not give sick pay.
How would you feel if you found out the person making your lunch today had a bad case of the H1N1 influenza? Or, how would you feel if you found out your child's school bus driver came to work with a bad case of the flu?
Wednesday, Wanda Cobbs came to the State Capitol to testify that she had to because her school bus company does not pay her for sick days.
"Nobody should have to go to work sick and nobody should have to chose between their kids, their job, and the people they serve," said Cobbs.
It was part of the effort to pass a bill requiring all businesses with 50 or more employees to provide pay for sick days.
"These are people who serve us in restaurants, who take care of our children in day care centers, who take care of the elderly in nursing homes, who work in retail outlets and who drive the trucks that deliver the goods to those outlets," said Emergency Physician Dr. Phillip Brewer.
Governor Rell opposes the bill as anti-business echoing the opinion of the state's largest business organization.
"In most cases it's going to cost the employer more money when we're in the worst recession we've been in; the timing is so far off on this," said Joe Brennan of Connecticut Business & Industry Assoc.
Republican leaders call it a Democrat-sponsored job killer.
"Anything short of an unequivocal statement that this bill is dead on arrival shows that they really don't mean what they've been saying about jobs all along," said Sen. John McKinney [R] Minority Leader.
But among the Democrats pushing the bill is a prominent Republican State Senator.
"This is a fair proposal; it's been out here in this building for four years now. It's not going to drive business away and it is an appropriate measure to make sure Connecticut takes appropriate steps in protecting the public's health," said Sen. John Kissel [R] of Enfield.
"No one I know can afford to miss pay, never mind risk getting fired," Cobbs said.
This proposal passed the House last year and was one vote short in the Senate so it never came up for a vote.