California will require paid sick leave, how to change the font size here, and more

A few random things —

1. People who like to zoom in or out to increase or decrease the font size here: There’s now a built-in feature of the site that will let you do that more easily. If you want a larger font size, scroll to the bottom of the right-hand sidebar, where you will see an option to “change default font size” (right below the category listing). On phones, you’ll see the option in the main menu. It should save your font size preference in a cookie after you choose it once.

(This should also solve the problems that some people were having with functionality after zooming in, like needing to click the comment submit button twice.)

2. California has just passed a bill making it the second state (after Connecticut) to require employers to offer paid sick leave. Assuming it’s signed by the governor, which it’s expected to be, the state will require employers to provide at least three paid sick days a year (although it has a few exclusions).

3. Nick Corcodilos has an interesting piece on why you shouldn’t bother with Glass Door. I tend to think that Glass Door has some (limited) usefulness if you look for patterns among the reviews, and it’s not terribly hard to spot fake positive reviews. And in general, I think that anything that gives you more information when you’re job-searching is good. But Nick makes some interesting points.

{ 124 comments… read them below }

  1. Stephanie

    #2 – I think this sounds awesome, but I’m sure there’s a downside. Can anyone think of one?

    #3 – I just treat Glassdoor like Yelp–I look for patterns as well. I think the reviews tend to skew towards being overwhelmingly positive HR plants or overwhelmingly negative comparisons to internment camps. For OldJob, I even felt compelled to write a more balanced and nuanced review in an attempt to counteract the extremes (one included “Advice to senior management-‘None! Keep up the good work!'”). Especially in a bigger company, I think a lot is going to depend on your particular manager, job, and organization and that gets lost in Glassdoor reviews.

    Indeed company reviews are just straight worthless.

    1. BRR

      #2 I’m stealing from the National Law Review “Opponents argue it would create a financial and administrative burden”, “because AB 1522 provides for a private right of action, there is a belief that unions may use this law to file lawsuits against employers on behalf of employees, thereby significantly expanding the scope and threat of civil litigation”, and “Opponents cite to their own surveys of jurisdictions that have already adopted mandatory paid sick leave policies and suggest that such policies have a negative impact on both growth and jobs, and often force employers to reduce employees’ hours, compensation, or other paid benefits in order to balance the additional cost of providing paid sick leave. ”

      The only issue I can see is it excludes home care workers. Which I understand the reasoning behind it but if they’re sick and taking care of the elderly and some disabled who are more susceptible to illness and can’t call off because they need the money wouldn’t it be better to include them?

      #3 I do the same on glassdoor. The keep up the good work always strikes me as odd. Even a well run business can usually fix something. The other thing is some employees seem to complain about things that are part of the job. I’ve seen people cite small town, long commute, and essential duties as cons when they’re all pretty obvious.

      1. Calla

        Home care workers get excluded from so much, ime. My fiancee does that and she’s had to go take care of elderly clients while fighting a cold or the flu. Because the choice is either do that, or lose the pay AND maybe leave the client uncovered anyway (her old agency was terrible about finding someone to fill in).

      2. Natalie

        Hmmmm. I wonder if those surveys are simple self-reports rather than actually looking at benefit changes some amount of time later.

    2. AVP

      Here in NYC they just established a similar law that was actually pretty controversial. People argued that it would be bad for business, drive businesses out of the city into the suburbs, drive up costs, etc.

      From what I can see though it’s pretty popular with the population in general. One of the main examples used to promote it was food workers – it is really gross to think about someone coughing into your food before it gets served, and it’s well known that most restaurants don’t have kitchen coverage for sick people or offer health benefits. And here there are so many restaurants and people get take-out so often that it resonated.

      1. AVP

        FWIW I’ve spent a lot of time in the past arguing to my boss that my team needs paid sick days, so I’m glad I can just forward him the law now and be done with it.

      2. Traveler

        Yep. I can remember when I was younger and working in food service and employees (myself included on more than one occasion) had to drag in to work sick. It’s a nightmare as you said because there’s no health insurance options, there’s no one to cover your shift (unless you find them, and try to find an 18 year old that wants to come in on the weekend if they dont have to), and then you’re making people’s food while incredibly ill just to keep your job. I actually was so sick I passed out mid-shift once, picked myself back off the floor and went back to work. That’s not okay.

        So yay California for making some progress.

      3. Mabel

        They said all of the same things when it was proposed to ban smoking in workplaces (including restaurants and bars), and none of that happened.

      4. Layla

        But it’s just 3 days. Even 1 bout of cough lasts more than 3 days. Just wear a mask! Although no one should have to work when they are groggy from meds.

        But I am from a country where 12 paid sick days are usual ( not sure about the law )

      5. Melissa

        Yeah, when Alison said only two states I was like “But New York!” and then I had to remember it was only a citywide law, not statewide. I remember reading the endless articles in the NYT about it before it happened, and food service workers and retail workers were highlighted – but particularly food service.

        The arguments simply didn’t make sense. There are 8 million people in New York. There is no way food service businesses (or any business) is going to move out into the suburbs because they have to give some paid sick days to workers; the concomitant loss in business for business large enough to be covered under the law would FAR outweigh the money they were out for the sick days. Not to mention that sick workers are unlikely to be very productive, and it will take them longer to recover and be back up to full capacity if they have to work through their illness as opposed to taking a day off to recover.

    3. some1

      Downside to the paid sick leave, on the employer end…I have seen in some roles where you are expected to find your own coverage before vacation time is approved, so people just call in sick because they don’t want the hassle. Of course, ways to combat that is being a good team player that your coworkers are willing to help, and management not putting that kind of onus on employees where they are effectively asking 8 different people for a vacation day.

      1. Stephanie

        I have heard that from restaurant worker friends who had to scramble around to find someone to cover a shift.

        1. some1

          Right, but some people might not call in sick just because they want the day off if they are going to lose the whole days pay.

          1. Helka

            So?

            The sick time is theirs to use. If they want to use it for something that isn’t terribly serious (up to and including a bout of I-Don’t-Wanna-Work-itis) then they’re taking the risk that they will not need the sick time later on for something that might be more serious.

            It isn’t the employer’s job to police “well, are you really sick enough to need this?”

            1. Beancounter in Texas

              I think that’s where PTO has an advantage over a vacation/sick policy.

              In my former dream job (salaried), the boss/owner barely supervised me and flat out told me that he didn’t care when I got my work done, so long I met deadlines, did things timely & was available by phone during regular business hours. He specifically said that if I felt like taking a day off, so long my work was caught up, he didn’t care if I played golf instead. There were a few days in which I didn’t feel like working & guiltlessly went shopping instead. It did wonders for my morale & loyalty to him as a boss. I was more honest with him than any other boss. I’d still be working for him now if he hadn’t sold the business. My dream job became a nightmare under the new owners.

              1. Beancounter in Texas

                PS: Every sick policy (or lack thereof) will be used or abused by people, no matter the law. With a policy/law, people will use them to have a day off, then be genuinely be sick and potentially outta pay. Without a policy/law, they’ll put other people at risk by working when sick. My former dream job boss actually sent people home when he found out they were sick & then used Lysol to clean all the door handles & breakroom, because he didn’t want other employees getting sick, nor himself.

                Ironically, my current boss/owner comes in sick because he thinks he’s being a good example of solid work ethic for his employees, but we wish he’d stay home so we don’t get sick too.

                1. Helka

                  Our new-ish boss has flat-out said that he does not reward working while sick, he does not regard working while sick as a positive thing, and he does not expect us to work while sick. I’m pretty appreciative of that attitude!

                2. Chinook

                  I loved the boss I had who would call a cab and make sure you got in it if you were sick. She did it a few times and it empowered us to do it to others when they were trying to “power through.” The best part was that this just wasn’t for illness (which are obvious because you don’t want to infect others), but also for pain that is not life threatening (that would get a a 911 call). I did something to my ankle (not at work) when I was receptionist and I kept coming in because it wasn’t a job where I walked. She said I looked like I was about to pass out and I was making dumb mistakes so, go home and we will figure out a work from home arrangement until you are better (esssentially, I was on call for my coverage and I dealt with all the emails and paperwork, freeing them up to deal with humans).

            2. some1

              I never implied the sick time isn’t the employee’s to use. But it’s harder for a manager and coworkers to cover unplanned absences for shift work.

          2. KerryOwl

            Okay. I still don’t see how mandatory sick time affects that one way or another.

            If a person has sick time available, but they don’t want to use it, then they go to work whilst sick. If they don’t have sick time available, then they . . . go to work whilst sick.

            1. some1

              I’m talking about people who call in sick when they aren’t in lieu of getting a paid vacation day approved in advance. I’m not saying paid sick time is a bad idea in general or that anyone should go to work when they are ill.

              1. some1

                ETA: but yes, as I said in my original point, it’s important that employers don’t put unfair hurdles on approving vacation time for that to work.

      2. OfficePrincess

        But the thing is, the law’s only requiring 3 paid sick days a year. The people who are out to abuse that will burn through them in a couple months. In past jobs I’ve been the one who got pulled in to cover, and it was more of a chronic issue than a once or twice a year issue.

    4. Mike C.

      Seattle recently instituted paid sick leave for food workers. Nothing bad has happened because of it.

      The only annoying thing was constantly hearing from naysayers that making it easier for food workers to stay home when carrying a contagious illness would be an incredible burden. Turns out lots of those folks like to cry wolf.

      1. Melissa

        Same thing in NYC – about the naysayers, not the effect. The law just went into effect this summer so it remains to be seen how it works, but it will probably be absolutely fine. But yeah, naysayers said the same thing – it’s so haaaaaard for businesses to let overworked, underpaid minimum wage workers take a day off when their nose is dripping all in your food.

    5. Kat

      I’ve worked in Australia and New Zealand for the past 15 years(ish). Paid sick leave of 5 days a year is the legal minimum for full-time or part-time staff, pro-rated (doesn’t apply to casual staff, which is a lot of retail/hospitality/service jobs). I’ve never seen a downside, even from a business perspective. It just means people are less likely to come to work when they are contagious or unproductive.

      1. BeenThere

        I’m an aussie transplanted to the states, I always thought the minimum was 10 day paid sick. I remember working somewhere where you had unlimited but over a certain # required a doctors cert. One of my coworkers sadly got cancer however at least she was paid her full salary throughout her battle.

        1. Kat

          5 is the minimum, but a lot of places offer more. My dad accrued a whole lot over a 20 year period and then took nearly a year to nurse my mum when she got cancer. Compassionate sick leave policies are a beautiful thing!

  2. dawbs

    #2-This may be something with an obvious answer, but my halfhearted googling doesn’t make it obvious–will there be anything for tipped workers in that?

    Just thinking back to when I was paid $2.50 an hour plus tips…sick leave, if it existed, would have covered only the 2.50/hour, right? or is CA in that minority of places that require waitstaff to be paid real hourly wages?

    1. Parfait

      California’s minimum wage is $9 per hour whether you’re tipped or not.

      Note to republicans: people still open restaurants like crazy here, and people still spend money at them.

      1. Mints

        +1

        You’d lose tips, but you’d at least be covered for the $9

        (Our economy is top 8th, in the world, iirc)

        1. TL

          Wikipedia agrees – but Texas is 10th (and right behind CA in terms of state economies) and you could not find states with two more different approaches to labor and employment laws.

      2. CA Admin

        And in SF where the minimum wage is above $10/hour, restaurants do super well too–even with the extra 4% “Healthy SF” tax to pay for workers’ health insurance. Amazing how treating people well isn’t actually spelling doom for our economy.

          1. Natalie

            According to the radio this morning, my state (MN) is leading the Midwest in things like job growth, despite all these supposedly burdensome regulations and giant state government and high taxes I keep hearing certain gubernatorial candidates bitching about. Weird.

    2. TL

      All restaurants everywhere in the USA are required to bring waitstaff’s wage up to minimum wage if their tips don’t.

      Most restaurants don’t, but they are legally required to (as far as I understand, anyways.)

      1. Parfait

        Yes but in California you get that wage BEFORE tips are added on. There are a few other states that don’t have a separate tipped minimum. Very few.

        1. TL

          The reasoning behind my comment was that since restaurants are required to bring tipped wages up to minimum wage if minimum wage isn’t met, they will probably be required to pay out sick days at minimum wage, not at tipped wages, because you’re not getting tips for being sick.

          1. Elsajeni

            The California bill defines paid sick time as being “compensated at the same wage as the employee normally earns during regular work hours,” but then, as pointed out above, California doesn’t have a lower minimum wage for tipped workers in the first place. I’d be interested to see how it would play out in a state that did have a lower tipped minimum — since I believe the requirement is that the wages across an entire pay period have to average out to minimum wage, it might be that sick time could still be paid at the lower tipped wage and then the adjustment, if necessary, would be made for the pay period as a whole.

  3. E.R

    #2. Good for California, seriously.
    #3. Obviously Glassdoor (or RateMyEmployer or similiar sites) should be taken with a huge grain of salt. The best use is probably to pay special attention to patterns in the comments, and then take note of those things while interviewing & asking around . The person who wrote in seems to have had a bizarre and unfortunate experience, but when I read Glassdoor etc. reviews of my former companies, I’d say they do a pretty good job of capturing the experience, and thus are an asset to future employees (and employers who care what others think).

  4. Risa

    Re: #2 – Alison, do you know how it would impact companies that use a PTO bucket vs. Sick/Vacation time? I get 15 days PTO a year – whether I call in sick, take a vacay or just an extra day on the weekend. I didn’t see anything in the law that immediately jumped out at me. Do they need to keep the sick days separate from other PTO, or because we already have a bank that encompasses sick days it passes the test? What if I use 15 days for vacation, then need to call in sick?

    1. Doreen

      I haven’t been able to find anything about this law specifically, but the movement in general is about ensuring that workers have access to paid leave for some minimum number of days and not about requiring separate buckets. It’s really about people who currently have no paid leave at all.

    2. Formica Dinette

      FWIW, I live in Seattle, where this is already the law. My company uses a PTO bucket and nothing has changed for us since the sick day requirement was enacted.

  5. Reader

    Hi Alison,

    Is there any way that you can tweak your site so that when we click on links that you post into your articles that it opens the link in a new tab? When I remember to, I just right click and it allows me to open the link a new tab, but it would be easier if you can build that functionality into the site. Thanks a bunch.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      In web design, that’s actually considered mildly rude because it forces people to have links open in new tabs, versus giving them the choice (as it is now). But if you right-click, you can do it manually (as you note!).

      1. danr

        Could this be an option in the same way the default font size is set? Then it’s still user choice but not dependent on remembering to right click every link.

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          Not without added expense, and it would be a pretty unusual feature to offer so hard to justify the cost :)

          Most websites are set up to allow the user to choose by the way they click.

      2. acmx

        Interesting (I’ve been rude, unawares!). I’ve always thought it was odd that a website would want links to direct visitors away from their website or from the page they were reading.

      3. Monodon monoceros

        Our webdesigner told us the opposite- that it is rude to take people away from the main page. I wonder if there is consensus, or just a bunch of differing views. I, personally, like links to open in a new tab.

    2. BRR

      If you use windows you also can ctrl+click to automatically open in a new tab. There’s a key for mac too which I have at home and use all time but of course cant’ remember which one.

      1. TK

        I know in Firefox you can set this as the default mode for opening links. Surely in other browsers you can too.

          1. Melissa

            I do too, which means I always have about 15+ tabs open on my computer :D But I do it as a matter of habit. I even do it for the comment threads, so that I have the main AAM page open and then a page for each of the posts I want to read the comments in. That way I don’t lose my place!

    3. PK

      In Firefox, in the preferences you can set all links to automatically open in a new tab no matter how you click on it.

  6. Lurker

    #2 — New York City (not state) passed a similar law a few months ago.

    According to nyc.gov, if you work in NYC for more than 80 hours a year, you can earn up to 40 hours of sick leave each year to care for yourself or a family member.

    If you are an employer, including a nonprofit or small business, you must provide:
    • Paid sick leave if you have 5 or more employees who work in NYC or unpaid sick
    leave if you have fewer than 5 employees.
    • 2 days of paid sick leave to domestic workers who have worked for you for more
    than 1 year. This leave is in addition to the 3 days of paid rest to which
    domestic workers are entitled under New York State Labor Law.

  7. Nicole

    Allison, I noticed that after making a comment, all comments are automated expanded (even though I had chosen to collapse all initially). Therefore I have to go back to the top, collapse all the comments again, and then find my place to continue reading through the comments. Is there any way to prevent this from happening?

    1. The Real Ash

      Whenever I make a comment, the page automatically loads to the point where my comment is listed, so I don’t have to scroll back down to find where I was. You could always try the CTRL + F trick and search for your name, that would be faster.

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        Oh, I see — I thought Nicole was just asking about the comments being re-expanded. It should always take you back to the comment you just left — but you might need to wait for the page to finish loading before that happens.

        1. Nicole

          That is what I meant. It does leave me where I was at; it’s just that because it automatically expands all the comments I still have to go back up to collapse them all and then find where I was or I get stuck having to scroll through all the expanded comments. No big deal though; I just figured I’d ask. :)

  8. MaryMary

    I found Glassdoor somewhat helpful in providing hints on the interview process. It was nice to know that the first interview is a group interview, or to expect to take a written test. Glassdoor also alerted me to a scam, the insurance for union members one we’ve talked about on this site before.

    1. Trixie

      I do too. Many including the overall time process they experienced, how the process went from application to phone screen to interviews to offer/no offer, etc.

    2. ThursdaysGeek

      Most of the time when I’ve tried to use Glassdoor, the company I’m looking at has no reviews at all.

  9. Mimmy

    THANK YOU Alison for including a built-in font-size change option!! (unfortunately, it doesn’t change the font in the comment box :( )

  10. Rebecca

    I’m glad there is movement on the paid sick leave front. I suffered through a long period of time when I first started working with no sick time and a punitive points program.

    For the first 10 years at my first job, I had 2 vacation days per year I could use when I needed them, and zero sick time. The other 8 days were mandated to be taken during plant shutdown during the week of the 4th of July and the week of Christmas. Even though we worked in the office, we had to take off when the manufacturing plant shut down. I had a small child, and was frequently sick myself. I went to work more times than I could count with a headache, strep throat, fever, flu, you name it because if I called off, I was issued an attendance point, and if I accumulated 12 points within any 12 month rolling time frame, I would be fired. I missed time to have my wisdom teeth extracted, in the morning, with novocaine, and was back at my desk and made up the missed time as to not have less than 40 hours on my time card. I wasn’t assessed “late points” because I had a signed medical excuse. I remember HR stating we’d never get sick time because people would use the days when they weren’t sick, and it would cost the company too much money.

    In addition to providing paid sick time, companies need to do away with the archaic practice of issuing attendance points that can lead to termination when employees call in sick, are sent home sick, or are late because a family member becomes sick and needs to be taken to the doctor/removed from school and taken to a babysitter, etc.

    1. Be the Change

      Gosh, Rebecca, what company was that so we can all avoid it!! TWO days off per year and then you get points if you are in the emergency room??! Seriously, this is why labor unions still have a place in the world. So sorry you had to work for those people for so long.

      1. Rebecca

        Their whole vacation earning timeline was draconian. 10 years = 2 full weeks vacation, but that was 10 days, and 8 of them were already spoken for. 15 years = 3 weeks, 20 years = 4 weeks. No sick time, but this was for hourly, non exempt workers only. Guaranteed and salaried employees were not subject to points, and if they called off sick, they still got paid. I worked there for 17 1/2 years, and was on guaranteed when I left, with 20 vacation days because guaranteed and salaried personnel got more vacation time, too. I left in 2002. I have no idea what their policies are now, and to be honest, have no interest in going back.

        1. Melissa

          Requiring you to take off 8 days at Christmas and July 4 was basically requiring the employees to deduct office closures from their PTO. I’m glad you don’t work there anymore!

      2. Callie

        My best friend works in insurance and they do the points thing–if you SCHEDULE time off, it doesn’t count against you, but if you call in sick, then you get points for “unreliability”.

    2. OfficePrincess

      In my last job we were allowed 3 before they changed it. Two of mine came from them calling an ambulance for me and then still being hospitalized the next day. I was back at work 12 hours after I was released against the doctors advice just so I wouldn’t get fired. I’m so glad to be out of there.

    3. Melissa

      People might use the days when they aren’t sick but then they would just be out sick days. I don’t understand this argument. You set a certain amount of sick days and you trust employees to be adults. If an employee calls out all the time and uses up all their sick days, then they have to come into the office sick or take the pay hit. Requiring people to run around and get doctor’s notes and medical excuses just burns up energy and wastes time, since the majority of sicknesses that employees would stay out for don’t really require a trip to the doctor.

  11. Gina

    Another drawback of Glassdoor is one I’ll bet most people don’t think about, but it happened to an old boss of mine. Someone posted to the site and filled in their info as being the store manager from our town and state and gave a scathing review. Even though it was a huge company, obviously there’s only one store manager from that town/state. Luckily his district manager realized that no one would be stupid enough to give their real title and location on a rant like that, but plenty of managers wouldn’t think like that. Anyone can claim any title they want and post something bad. You could really hate a coworker (or want their job) and make a lot of trouble for them.

    1. anon for this

      Similarly, a former employee at the company I work at lied about me in a Glassdoor posting – he mentioned my title and said a few things that were not true (but maybe he was disgruntled enough that he wanted them to be true). Glassdoor wouldn’t take the post down right away even though I was the only person at the company with that title at the time.

  12. Rachel

    I mostly use Glassdoor for the salary information. (It’s been very helpful for those online applications that require me to give a desired salary in order to continue.) That said, the reviews for at least one of the companies where I’ve worked have been spot-on.

  13. Simonthegrey

    For me personally, when I am reading reviews of anything, I basically discount any one-star or five-star (because one star is more often than not “I can’t use this product because I don’t know how” and five star generally doesn’t tell you anything real about potential issues). I read three and four star reviews, be that on Amazon or anywhere else, because those often have the “real” issues covered. I’ve only ever looked at glassdoor once, and that was to try to figure out some salary info for my husband.

    1. Melissa

      I do the same thing, unless the five-star or one-star reviews are unusually detailed or offer interesting information. I have found that on Amazon there are actually useful five-star reviews – a lot of people give items five stars even if the item has issues, but they explain that the issues don’t really detract from their evaluation of the product. But the one-star reviews are almost universally bad, and many times they’re not even reviewing the product! I’ve seen a lot of one-star reviews based upon customer service, and recently read a review of some doggie poo bags in which the customer gave the bags 1 star because they weren’t biodegradable.

      I figure Glassdoor is like that too, and most of the time there are so few reviews on a particular company that the average is all skewed anyway. And I feel like jobs are even more highly personal than items, and so dependent on co-worker relations, supervisors, and even the employee’s own work ethic. I’ve also tried to look at it for salary information, and that’s marginally more helpful, but again – sometimes there are so few reporters in a particular job that I feel like I can’t get a meaningful average.

  14. Apollo Warbucks

    #2 I think a limited amount of sick leave really should be provided by employers, in the UK the government pay about $150 a week after three days off work and that lasts six months and many employers top it up to your normal wage.

  15. Knitting Cat Lady

    From a German perspective, three paid sick days a year is kind of laughable.

    We get thirty a year. If you keep getting the same thing, your days will be summed up until you reach thirty. If you get sick with something else (e.g. stomach bug, then cold) with six month in between the thirty day count starts again.

    We have very strict laws about sick notes, though. You need a note from the fourth day on.

    If your thirty days are up, your insurance (which is mandatory here) will pay a daily stipend.

        1. fposte

          Right, but the American culture is based on the notion that the market sets these things, so there’s no legal minimum in most of the US and yet most workers have sick days. There’s no question that US employees generally have far fewer sick days than German employees or those in many other countries, but because of the way U.S. culture works, the law doesn’t tell you what the sick day conventions actually are in the same way, either.

          1. Knitting Cat Lady

            I know that.

            In my opinion a legal minimum should be something that is close to the normal standard.

            The difference in worker’s rights and worker’s rights movements as well as the structure and status of unions between the US is a really fascinating subject.

          2. Cat

            I don’t know if I agree with defining that as “U.S. culture.” In some sense that’s tautologically true, since we don’t have a legal minimum right now on a federal level and it’s relatively rare across all local jurisdictions, but I think the reasons for that are more complicated than a broad cultural belief that the market should set it.

              1. SA

                This is a brilliant way to phrase it, and I’m going to steal this. I think it’s true of a lot of economic/labor-related issues and practices in the U.S.

          3. Marcia

            “most workers have sick days”

            Citation? Maybe most middle to upper class workers have sick days. But overall, plenty of workers have no sick days, quite possibly a majority. If you include undocumented workers (who are still humans who do actual work, so I do include them), the vast majority probably do not have sick days.

            1. Ask a Manager Post author

              According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, nearly 40% of private sector workers don’t have paid sick days (I assume it’s lower if you factor in public sector workers, where the percentage of people with paid sicks days is quite high).

              There’s also a correlation with how much you’re paid. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 83% of workers who are paid $65,000 or more annually have paid sick days, whereas only 28% of workers who are paid less than $20,000 per year have them.

              There’s also a full-time/part-time difference. 70% of full-time workers (who work 35 or more hours per week) earn paid sick days, versus less than 11% of those who work fewer than 20 hours per week.

              1. Windchime

                So the people who can least afford to miss a paid day at work are the ones who are most likely to have no paid days off for sick time. What a messed-up system. I find some of my country’s labor policies to be embarrassing.

              2. GH

                Although, not all policies show up in paperwork, especially in my smaller offices. My (professional, creative industry) job has no official vacation day or sick day policies, because I’m always being contracted on a short term, 3-9 months is the norm (usually on good financial terms, too). The job might show up in statistics as offering no vacation and no sick days, but in practice people call in sick — or get urged to go home if they look green — and still get paid in full. Vacation is generally taken between contracts, but if you have an unmissable event like a wedding you just arrange it with your boss. Is “gentleman’s agreement” or “by mutual discretion” a category of PTO policy?

                1. Melissa

                  Personally I would say no, because the depends entirely on the generosity and rationality of your boss. If you have a boss who is a human being and knows how to manage well, then you probably get enough days to be sick/take vacation because those kind of people usually understand that time off and time to recover from sickness contributes to better productivity and happier workers. But if you get a bad manager – the kind who believes that 60+ hour weeks and working through sickness should be the standard to meet, and rewards obsessive working – then you might not get the time off you need.

          4. Melissa

            Well, in some industries the minimum actually does tell you what the sick day conventions are. The minimum in most places is zero, and for most low-wage and much blue-collar work that’s pretty much exactly what employees get. My parents were blue-collar workers growing up and I hadn’t even heard of the concept of paid leave (or what it meant to work “on salary”) until I was an adult myself.

    1. CoffeeLover

      15weeks of paid sick leave is the minimum in Canada, but that’s through employment insurance that your employer deducts from your pay based on your earnings up to a maximum of ~$900/yr. Employers have to do this by law, unless you’re a contractor in which case you’re paid higher with the expectation you’ll pay these premiums. I will add that through this insurance you don’t get paid your full salary. The max you receive is $515/week.

      The norm is that employers pay you in full when you’re sick, and the above is more for longer term sickness. In fact, I’ve never heard of an employer that didn’t do this, but I’ve only worked in the “white collar” world in a very lucrative industry. I don’t think this applies to part-time work, but I’m not sure.

      Just thought I’d throw that in there because I was curious and looked it up :P. I’ll agree with Knitting Cat Lady that I was pretty shocked at the abysmally low minimum and even more shocked that there is only requirements in two states!

    2. De (Germany)

      You know, I have never thought about it as “having” 6 weeks of sick time. It’s just that when you are sick, you still get paid the same unless it’s more than six weeks for the same condition – which is of course rare.

      By the way, employers can (and my former one did) request a doctor’s note from day 1 on. And that’s a real pain in the ass.

  16. voluptuousfire

    Actually, my former job pulled the same thing as the OP in the article on Glassdoor above. They unlocked their profile on GD back at the end of June this year and the reviews up until then had been 1-2 stars with a recurring theme of disorganization. Once it was unlocked, their rating got bumped up by 3-5 star reviews saying how glorious it was to work there. Luckily the negative reviews still outnumber the positive ones.

    As everyone else said, take it with a grain of salt.

  17. aninnymouse

    With Glassdoor sometimes I check after I had an interview with the place to see if they match up or something.

  18. Mabel

    I’m still having trouble reading AAM on my HTC Droid Incredible using Firefox. I tried the instructions for changing the font size. All that happens when I click on the large “A” is the view jumps to the sidebar. When I refresh the page, it’s still so tiny, I can barely read it with my glasses. I tried using the built-in browser instead, but it just closes itself whenever I click a link. Bummer! I usually enjoy reading AAM on the bus/train, and now I’ll need to read it at home on my computer.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      It’s set to increase by 1 pixel at a time, so that people can customize it exactly as they’d like (rather than a bigger jump with each click/tap). So, our baseline font size is 14px, and with each click of the big A it increases by 1px. With only one click/tap, it would be 15px, which isn’t a very noticeable difference on a phone. So, try clicking the big A a few more times until it’s enough of an increase.

      Firefox doesn’t increase the font as much as Dolphin/Chrome does with one tap, so it’s not as much of a difference with Firefox in particular (but increasing it more times should do the trick and get Firefox to match the increased font size on Dolphin/Chrome).

      The screen moves after you tap it on a phone since it changes the font size and that makes the main column slightly longer (pushing the sidebar further down the page).

      1. bkanon

        The larger font size option works great on my tablet, especially after reading this comment. I assumed at first that only one click to enlarge was viable, since I don’t think I’ve been on a site that allowed more. Thank you for implementing that! It’s very helpful. Though there’s a quirk in it that I’m seeing; I don’t know if it’s fixable or just … there. (Firefox for Android) The post and every top-level comment are appearing in my chosen font size. All sub-comments are staying at the default font.

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          Okay, apparently that was an issue that’s been fixed, but if it’s still happening to you it might be because your device is using the older version cached in your browser. Trying refreshing or clearing your browser cache!

  19. Kobayashi

    The downside to the CA sick leave law is it expands who you can take sick leave for — even siblings are covered, and of course the additional posting requirement (considering that posting requirements are added regularly but almost never removed, businesses will soon need to buy new wall space just for the required postings…and that’s not a joke; you should see the posting wall in our office and we’re running out of space).

    1. Marcia

      Why is it bad that you can take sick leave to take care of an immediate family member? Who else is supposed to take care of me when I am sick?

      1. doreen

        For three days, I don’t really think it makes a difference. For more generous leave allowances, that might be another story. For example, I can take up to 15 days of sick leave in a year for any relative or relative-in-law. I could actually use sick leave to take care of my nephew’s wife. I’m sure it means a lot more sick leave gets used at my employer than at ones where family sick leave is restricted to spouse/domestic partner , parents and children.

      2. Not So NewReader

        Your immediate family and you are not allowed to get sick!
        Am shaking my head. Companies do something on a daily basis to push people out the door and they have no clue.
        It’s been almost warfare for me to take care of a sick family member and hold down a job. The stress has exasperated my own health issues.

        If it weren’t so sad, it would be almost laughable- companies have all these programs to get people healthy and their own policies are probably driving half the health issues their employees have.

    2. Callie

      Yes, heaven forbid that people actually be able to take care of their families. If my brother was in a car accident his wife would care for him, but what if that accident kills her and leaves him needing help? I guess I should just let him fend for himself. If three days of paid leave is going to make or break your business I suggest you aren’t running your business very well.

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