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Paid sick leave[Cross-posted from Think Progress]

North Carolina could be next to throw a wrench into paid sick leave
By Bryce Covert

A wave of so-called “preemption” bills that block paid sick days legislation before it can even be introduced or passed has cropped up across the country. North Carolina could be the next state to pass such a law if Gov. Pat McCroy (R) signs HB74, or the Regulatory Reform Act of 2013, which is sitting on his desk awaiting his signature and takes an incremental step toward barring paid sick days legislation.

Section 5 of the bill blocks the rights of cities and counties to enact paid sick days requirements for government contract workers. While this wouldn’t impact the entire workforce, it could erode standards. As Vicki Meath, executive director of Just Economics, writes, because governments are required to accept the lowest acceptable bid, “Living wage policies help contractors level the playing field so that they can compete for city and county contracts on the basis of the quality of their work instead of a race to the bottom in terms of worker wages and benefits.” If those standards are raised, it can help raise the floor for all workers….

Read the rest of the post by clicking here.

 

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The following post was submitted to NC Policy Watch by Vicki Meath, Executive Director of the group Just Economics in Asheville.

Another attack on workers and local governments
By Vicki Meath

Among the harmful and destructive bills passed during the waning hours of 2013 legislative session was HB 74 (“The Regulatory Reform Act of 2013”). The bill now awaits the Governor’s review.  

In this bill affecting rules in a variety of areas (including significant rollbacks of environmental protections) lawmakers included an anti-living wage, anti-local government, anti-worker provision. Section 5 eliminates the rights of cities and counties to enact living wage policy or paid sick day requirements for contract workers.   Read More

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As we reported in this space last week, the General Assembly is advancing a last-minute “regulatory reform” bill in the session’s waning days that is chock-full of dozens of special favors to industry lobbyists, including several new provisions to further restrict environmental protection.

Today, however, advocates discovered yet another hidden gem in the bill — a provision that will prevent forward-thinking local governments (like Asheville and Durham) from requiring contractors to treat workers decently. Read More

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FMLAYou don’t hear as much from the far right in recent years about “family values” — mostly because hardly anyone can take such talk seriously when it comes from a group that champions survival-of- the-fittest capitalism, does is best to deny health care to people in need and just generally works to eradicate the social safety net.

On the odd chance, however, that someone does lay that line on you in the near future, you might want to remind them of the fact that today, February 5, 2013, is the twentieth anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act — the federal law that requires large employers to allow their workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to deal with pregnancy and family medical emergencies. Read More

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Don’t miss today’s Progressive Voices column by the Justice Center’s Sabine Schoenbach. In it, she highlights the story of a Raleigh woman and cancer survivor who lost her teaching assistant job because she narrowly missed the stingy threshold for eligibility for the federal Family Medical Leave Act.

WRAL TV did a story about the woman – Donna Sotomayor – that you can watch below.