ALEC is helping Florida Republicans push forward a bill that would prevent any municipality in the state from adopting their own paid sick leave laws. Efforts to stop paid sick leave are collectively referred to as preemption bills. They are , of course, orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC, a right wing group trying to coordinate conservative laws across states. ALEC is also responsible for the heinous Stand Your Ground Laws.
Florida Republicans are following Wisconsin Governor Scott Walkers lead on paid sick leave. These bills enable state government to block local government from passing paid sick leave laws. Walker did this in his first months in office, overturning a sick leave law voted in by the people of Milwaukee, 69% voted for it. When did Wisconsin become a dictatorship? How were the peoples democratic rights stripped from them?
Sick leave is an issue strongly supported by Democrats. There are a few different versions of paid sick leave. The most popular being pro allow workers without benefits (part-timers and low wage earners) to earn a certain number of paid sick days off a year. Another is earning paid sick leave by working a certain amount of hours. Studies show that covering workers with earned sick leave helps lower health care costs. It strengthens worker loyalty and increases worker productivity for the 40% of private sector workers and 80% of low income workers who lack the ability to take a day off while sick and get paid for it. A post 2012 election poll by Lake Research Partners and the Tarrance Group, found that fully 86% of national voters would support paid sick days, including 96% of Democrats.
In August 2011 at ALECs annual meeting, tie Wisconsin Act 16 bill wad passed out to attendees. It was a model for state override of paid sick leave. ALEC also has a model legislation that would preempt local living wage requirements. ALECs slate of bills promoting a race to the bottom in wages and working conditions for the American workforce was recently detailed in a report by National Employment Law Project. If Florida does follow Wisconsins lead on this bill it would be a severe blow to Workers Rights.
This is why many people believe that our system is broken. A group like ALEC, which is a collection of corporations and wealthy individuals, seems to have more power than even local government. President Obama needs to address Workers Rights in order to protect employees from employers overstepping their rights. If the Republicans had their way, we would be like fuedal China, with employees being indentured servants. Sounds far fetched, but there was actually a document being passed through corporations which referred to us as peasents. Whats next? The ability to not pay us.
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