There are many excellent reasons to agree that President Obama’s proposal to allow employees to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave a year is a good idea. And a majority of the American public agrees with the president that paid sick time — which most white-collar workers already enjoy — should be available to all workers.
For years, polls have shown that people overwhelmingly favor family-friendly policies, including paid sick time. The most recent was released by Lake Research Partners, a Democratic polling firm engaged by the Make It Work campaign, an advocacy effort pushing for economic security for working families.
The poll asked a cross-section of likely 2016 voters about a variety of family-friendly policies, and 88 percent of those identifying as Democrats, independents or Republicans said they favor workplace policies to “ensure all workers earn paid sick days to care for themselves or family members.”
Probably most of the respondents are nice people who can imagine needing the time to care for a close family member.
To make another broad supposition, I’d say that most of the people who are opposed to such policies recoil at the idea of government mandates and likely already enjoy white-collar job stability in which benefits like paid sick time are a given. They also probably enjoy paid sick time and yet rarely take it. Working while sick even when you can have the time off is a thing. Many workers take great pride in coming to work ill, and there are a fair number of their colleagues who wish they would stop.