The winning Letter of the Month for June is from Susan Greenbaum of Temple Terrace, who wrote on June 21 about a bill preventing local governments from mandating paid sick leave.
Sick leave bill
A matter of public health
Our governor has rendered a lot of controversial decisions in the wake of the one of the worst sessions of Florida lawmaking in my 30 years living here. Recently he decided to uphold the bill that prevents local communities from mandating paid sick leave for employees.
A huge majority of Floridians (70 to 80 percent) favor paid sick leave. A small number of giant corporations do not. Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster and others) and Disney lobbied hard to secure this right to obstruct home rule and promote pestilence.
Paid sick leave is a valuable individual benefit, but it is also a critical element of public safety, especially in densely populated areas with large numbers of tourists. Food workers and those who interact with large crowds (like employees of amusement parks) should be able to stay home when they are sick. Otherwise, they risk infecting others with communicable diseases.
Restaurants that coerce their servers and preparers to come to work sick are practicing a dubious business model. Who wants to eat in a place where the food handlers might give you a disease? Local officials and the general public may understand that public health is important, but it seems that some big corporations do not, even when their own customers are in jeopardy.
Susan Greenbaum, Temple Terrace