Florida prof. says No Paid Sick Leave Makes You Poor

BOCA RATON (970 WFLA) -- Lack of paid sick leave can drive people into poverty. That's the conclusion of a study by a professor at Florida Atlantic Unviersity in Boca Raton.

Professor LeeAnne Derigne co-authored the study with Cleveland State University in Ohio. She says people lose the income by taking unpaid time off to recover, and often the taxpayers end up footing the bill. "By not guaranteeing a minimum number of paid sick days... we're putting pressure on our other social welfare systems," Derigne says, including food stamps. 

She says people who have to take time off for illness not only lose the pay for the hours they didn't work. They can get put on the fast track to losing their jobs, thanks to corporate review procedures that assign a point score to absenteeism.

Derigne believes her study can help make the case for laws mandating paid sick time in Florida... an idea that is soundly rejected in Tallahassee. Governor Rick Scott signed a bill outlawing local paid sick day ordinances in 2013. 

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