ORLANDO - The Earned Sick Time campaign announced today they have completed their petition drive and turned in the requisite petitions to the Supervisor of Elections. Now it's up to the County Commission.
"We made it! I am so proud that our community has rallied around this cause," said Julie Norris, a small business owner in Orange County.
In what may be the biggest political campaign in Central Florida right now, an army of paid and volunteer petition workers is swarming through Orange County. They aren't pushing a candidate. Rather, they are trying to earn a spot on the November ballot for an initiative that would require businesses to offer their employees sick time. It's a daunting task: So many petition signatures are required that no citizen initiative has ever made it on the ballot in Orange County.
On June 28, while all eyes were on the Supreme Court decision on President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act - most notably its effects on small businesses, states' rights and the individual mandate - a ragtag coalition of local activists was keeping its focus on a different side of the health-care discussion: the almost silent majority of low-wage earners, many of whom aren't allowed to take sick time off from work, whether they have health coverage or not. According to 2010 census estimates, only 46 percent of Orange County workers receive earned (or paid) sick time at their jobs...
As Election season kicks into high gear, there's one ballot initiative heating up Orange County politics this summer. Citizens for a Greater Orange County, a progressive coalition, has launched an ambitious effort to protect workers' rights locally through a citizen initiative guaranteeing earned sick days for workers. In a county where the job base heavily relies on tourism, hotels, and restaurants, this initiative could have a direct impact on improving the quality of life for many of Orange County's working families...
On May 16, a coalition of local groups announced an initiative to create a citywide standard for earned sick time for Orlando workers and businesses. I believe setting a standard for earning sick time is the right thing to do for our businesses and the city. And I should know: I'm a small business owner.
A group of workers' rights activists who launched a petition initiative to require Orlando businesses to provide employees with paid sick days said Friday they are now taking their effort countywide. Citizens for a Greater Orlando filed paperwork with the Orange County Supervisor of Elections that allows the group to start gathering signatures in favor of paid sick time.
The Orlando Sentinel asked readers: Should Orlando businesses offer paid sick time?
YES 88% NO 12%
There's exciting news out of Florida! A coalition of Orlando workers, businesses, unions and advocates has launched a new campaign to establish a citywide paid sick days standard. The campaign filed paperwork at City Hall this week - the first step toward having the proposal put to the city's voters.
|Nearly 40% of private-sector workers, and 81%
of those in the lowest wage jobs, do not have
the ability to earn paid sick time.|
|Nearly one quarter of adults in the US have lost
a job or been threatened with job loss for taking
time off when sick.|
|In a county as financially dependent on tourism as
Orange County, with over 50 million visitors a year, having
a contagious service industry is harmful.|
|Earned Sick Time promotes Economic Development. San Francisco experienced greater growth than
surrounding communities after adopting the policy.|
|Earned Sick Time is a cost-effective policy
that benefits both employee and employer.|