“No one should have to choose between staying home and really now being at higher risk with the situation with the coronavirus or having to decide to go to work sick.”
– Ana Gonzalez, policy director for the Workers Defense Project, regarding the fact thousands of workers may be forced to take time off from work to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Texas alone has more than 10 million people age 18 and above involved in the workforce. About 40% of them lack paid sick leave; the majority of them female and/or non-White. Texas is notably more pro-business than pro-worker, and state officials have fought various municipalities that want to implement mandatory paid sick leave by filing lawsuits and proposing legislation to undermine those efforts.
Now, with the COVID-19 scourge in full crisis mode, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a state of emergency.
Just wait and see. Oh, of course. Why shouldn’t the 10 to 20 million unemployed and under-employed in the U.S. be patient a little while longer? Wall Street has just experienced an extraordinary boom and the jobless rate has ticked down to 7.7% with reports that employers added 236,000 jobs in February. A tick is something I yank off my dog and throw down the disposal. While our elected officials continue to behave like unsupervised grade schoolers, average Americans keep losing their homes, and my student loans keep accruing interest.