Majority of Mass. voters support mandated sick time

Supporters say measure will increase productivity, opponents say its bad for business

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A new WBUR opinion poll found 56-percent of 500 people surveyed will vote to mandate earned employee sick time for all Massachusetts businesses.

“I think that’s a great idea. I suffer from migraines, so I think that as a worker and a student, it would be a great idea,” said Bridgette Farley of Allentown, PA.

Other supporters say this measure will increase productivity, prevent illnesses from spreading around in the workplace and allow people to take care of themselves and family members without losing income.

“I think it’s all about taking care of your employees. That comes first. If you want people to work for you, you want people to do well for you, if you’re taking care of them, they’re going to take care of you,” said Christine Charron of Granby.

While some say paid sick time should be required, opponents are saying that it could be bad for businesses. In fact, 25-percent of people polled said they’re against this measure.

One criticism is that some businesses would have to pay double: the person who is out sick and the person who has to cover that shift.

“The government shouldn’t have to step in and enforce it. It should just be something that business, company owners and business owners just offer to their employees,” said Lee Braziel of Springfield.

However, 18-percent of people polled were undecided about how they’ll vote on question four in November, which is still almost six weeks away.

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