Beshear urges employers who don’t offer paid sick leave to do so, to keep sick workers at home and prevent spread of coronavirus

Gov. Andy Beshear (Lexington Herald-Leader photo)

Gov. Andy Beshear wants Kentucky employers who don’t allow paid sick leave to change that policy, to prevent spread of the coronavirus.

“We have got to make sure that people stay home when they’re feeling sick until we move past this,” Beshear told journalists, adding that it is only a matter of time before Kentucky sees a case of Covid-19.

“I would encourage all those businesses that are out there that don’t currently offer paid sick leave, absolutely consider it for the next several months,” Beshear said.

The Courier Journal reports, “Kentucky sits in a region with some of the lowest rates of access to paid sick leave in the country, according to Jason Bailey, head of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, a left-leaning think tank. Some 62% of private sector workers in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi receive paid sick days, compared with 91% of workers in the Pacific Northwest, Bailey said. That’s partly because Kentucky has a greater number of low-wage employers — factories and retailers.”

But it’s also because the 2017 General Assembly banned local governments from imposing sick leave requirements, Bailey told the Louisville newspaper: “Cities like Louisville are actually barred from doing that. So that creates additional risk because a lot of those workers who do not have paid sick days are also the ones who are in those jobs with regular contact with the public. … We have created a situation through that and other policies that increase our risk.”
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