FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“A Sad Day for Democracy,” But the Fight for Earned Sick Days in Florida is Not Over
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — September 19, 2012 — "What happened in Orange County, Florida, yesterday is a disgrace that harms working families, businesses and the democratic process. Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orange County commissioners have deliberately skirted the law and ignored the will of at least 46,000 voters in order to deny citizens the right to vote on a common sense earned sick time proposal.
The news comes after months of underhanded and aggressive tactics by opponents from the big business lobby. The mayor and county commissioners who were elected to serve the public’s interest have instead ignored their duties and caved to opponents of earned sick time. By refusing to put this measure on the ballot, these officials are kowtowing to a special interest at the expense of a broad coalition of workers, businesses and advocates who played by the rules.
It is a sad day for democracy, but the effort to guarantee workers the right to earn sick days in Orange County is not over. Voters have made it clear that they want the opportunity to strengthen the local economy, protect public health and provide stability for working families by putting earned sick days to a vote. And the Orange County earned sick time coalition will not give up.
An overwhelming number of Americans say they support a law that would give workers the right to earn paid time away from work to recover from illness and care for their families without sacrificing their economic security. Paid sick days laws are already in place and working well in Connecticut, San Francisco, the District of Columbia and Seattle.
We commend the Orange County earned sick time campaign and everyone who stood up for working families in Orange County. They are shining a spotlight on the harm caused when workers cannot earn paid sick days and making painfully clear how far opponents will go to thwart the progress that workers, their families and our economy need. This is not over.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.