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As More Cities Push for Paid Sick Leave, States Push Back

September 26, 2018

Governing,

Alayna Alvarez,

September 24, 2018-

A split is growing between cities that want to require private companies to give workers paid sick days and states that are determined to stop them. In the last three years, a dozen states have banned localities from passing paid leave requirements, more than doubling to 22 the states that now outlaw such local ordinances. The push for so-called preemption laws is backed by the Koch brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council, a membership organization of state legislators who favor limited government.

The state moves come in response to the increasing number of cities and counties passing paid sick days ordinances. Since 2015, more than 20 cities, as well as eight states, have approved measures mandating that companies provide local workers with paid sick leave. Since San Francisco approved the first paid sick leave ordinance in 2006, paid sick day requirements have been passed in 35 cities or counties and 11 states. Backers of required sick leave say they’re giving an essential health benefit to workers — one that will improve public health by keeping ill employees at home.

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