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Commissioner Steve Novick

Official Website for Commissioner Steve Novick

Phone: 503-823-4682

fax: 503-823-4019

1221 SW 4th Ave. Suite 210, Portland, OR 97204

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Letter: Paid sick leave provides important worker protection

February 16, 2013 | So The Oregonian thinks we don't need a paid sick leave legal requirement and that we should just leave it to consumers who like the idea of paid sick leave to choose to spend their money in places that provide it ("Use creativity, not cudgel, on sick leave," Feb. 11). Brilliant idea.
Come to think of it, why not just repeal every law designed to protect workers and consumers, and let consumers do the work? It would be easy enough for every Portlander calling for a restaurant reservation to just go through a checklist: "Do you have a table for six Friday at 7? Great! I just have a few more questions. Do you use child labor? Do you pay the voluntary minimum wage? Do you buy food from farmers that choose to undergo safety inspections? Do you meet the voluntary fire safety standards? Do you pay overtime? Do you pay the voluntary Social Security tax? Do you discriminate against women and minorities in your hiring practices?"
Every argument The Oregonian makes against paid sick leave has been used against every worker protection since the dawn of time. Workers without paid sick leave are largely in service industries, like the restaurant industry, where it is dangerous to consumers to have people working while sick.
The vast majority of other countries, including capitalist havens like Singapore, require paid sick leave. Next month, Portland will join them. READ FULL ARTICLE