Are you a temporary worker in Connecticut?
My advice to you is: don’t get sick.
On July 5, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced a new law, effective Jan. 1, 2012, that requires paid sick leave to full-time service workers.
That’s if your company has 50 employees or more and doesn’t already offer them five paid days off.
This is the first law of its kind in the United States.
Malloy said, “Without paid sick leave, front-line service workers – people who serve us food, who care for our children, and who work in hospitals, for example – are forced to go to work sick to keep their jobs.”
Come January, Malloy said they won’t have to “choose between their paycheck and their health.”
There’s a small list of people who will still have to decide whether a loss of money is worth it. According to the law, those exempt include temp workers.
The law says that people must have worked four months to accrue sick time.
It does make sense, because most likely, when you think of a temp worker, a short term like a couple weeks, or even a couple days, comes to mind.
But there’s now a broader definition, and attorneys have jumped on the law already, saying it’s vague on the definition of a temp worker.
According to Law.com, they’re defined as “somebody hired for a finite period of time to work on a particular project.”
Jackson Lewis law firm attorney Beverly Garofalo said, “A lot of companies have temp employees who work on a more indefinite open-ended basis.”
I’m probably ignoring the bigger picture, which is that employers are upset about the government telling them how to use benefits, or that employees may take unfair advantage of the time off and start using sick days at will.
But this is Staffing Talk, which means my emphasis is on the temp workers’ plight.
Obviously, temp workers run the risk of not having benefits when they opt for a temp job.
But if you are contracted to work as a nursing aide (one of the elite who qualify for this law) for an indefinite amount of time, which ends up being, I don’t know, say six months, will there be an issue?
My guess is not really, as there’s no point to doling out sick leave to someone who’s going to be gone in another couple of months.
I can see where Malloy’s exemptions make sense, after considering them further.
Someone’s got to cover for the workers who’ll be taking advantage of vacation, er, sick leave.