The Cycle | March 21, 2013
>>> congress is set for another battle over your bedroom. actually, it could be in your living room , kitchen, bathroom or kids' room. a fight over paid sick leave and it is spreading across the states and the halls of the nation's capital. yesterday tom harkin and representative rosa delauro that would set a baseline for paid sick days for america. would it allow employees to earn up to seven days per year to take care of their own or their families' health. interestingly, there is evidence that bill may help businesses. coming to work sick costs the economy $180 billion each year in lost productivity.
>>> and it's gross.
>> in the guest spot, thanks so much for being with us.
>> my pleasure. thank you.
>> so some of the research that i've seen from cornell university actually shows that moms are penalized more than dads when they do take sick days to take care of their kids or they have to take off work to be able to take care of their kids, their family, a loved one. does having a standard baseline get it that problem and hopefully equalize the employer response to taking sick days?
>> well, it helps women in several days. women are less likely to have it. more likely to need it since they do most of the care giving. but they also need men to share that care giving and more men will do so if they don't get punished for it at work.
>> i wanted to pick up on something she was talking about, this might be good for the economy. some say they would rather make their own productivity decisions. i'm wondering what you think about the context of a decision and trying to build support for this kind of federal policy.
>> this is exactly why we need it. because of the economy. we cannot have recovery and growth unless people have money in their pockets to cover the basics. keep the lights original keep food on the table. there's no discount pump at the gas station if you've had the flu. but business own here's are partners in our state coalitions tell us what they most need is for people to come spend money in their shop. so in their interests, your workers are my customers for those workers not to lose their job or their paycheck because they're being a good parent or following doctors' orders.
>> here in new york city , there's a battle brewing over that exact point that he mentioned. christine quinn running for mayor of new york city is standing against this legislation because she says the economy can't afford it. and she is getting some pushback from some of her democratic opponents. have you noticed a breakdown on this issue, left, right? who is a friend? who is a foe? who is with you or against you?
>> the good news is that there is huge support for these issues among voters all across the political spectrum and across all demographics including the majority of republicans. and there are a lot of business owners on our side. it isn't really businessies. it is lobbyists for multi-billion dollar corporations who are most against this. we're talking about workers at walmart and olive garn. it is a little hard to argue that the people who prepare your kentucky fried chicken or your tacos at taco bell should not be allowed to stay home if they're sick and not pass on flu with your food. so instead, they wrap themselves in the flag of mom and pop shops. but we have paid sick days in a number of places and we have a growing body of evidence. it shows in fact, now those businesses support it because it has been a good thing for them.
>> that's a compelling argument. let's talk about paternity leave as well. men being able to leave after they have a baby, after their wife has a baby. a the love people say that mandatory paternity leave is helpful in removing the stigma around maternity leave . so where is that in this whole piece?
>> . men, the problem is if it is offered at all, it is unpaid. and many families cannot afford the financial hit. paid sick days and paid family leave will allow people to have income so they can put their family first. be successful, both with their loved ones and also on their job. and that's what everybody wants.
>> so are you not in favor of paid paternity leave ?
>> no, of course i am. i'm saying we support our, the coalitions are 20 state coalitions in our network and many of them work for workers to be able to have paid sick days. others work on the issue of family leave insurance to make family leave affordable and accessible absolutely we support it.
>> thank you so much.
>> my pleasure. thank you. and i want to urge your viewers in new york to call and tell them, your cities need paid sick days.
>> thanks for that plug.
>> she's not our mayor yet.
>>> speaking of families, you all know i talk about mine from time to time. constantly. like her mom, my daughter ella likes to give her opinion. for instance insisting on some crazy outfit that she had to wear today. but ella also likes to give her opinion on politics. i know, i'm raising little politico. it is a little bit scary. together we are launching a new web series called political playground where ella and i discuss all things political. for instance, here's ella's take on president obama .
>> this is good.
>> he cause the about job. do you think he gets a lot of sleep at night or no?
>> no? why not?
>> because he has to do lots of work.
>> i want to know, if any political topics you talk about your w your kids. karen and her 5-year-old son jackson discuss how cool president obama is because he likes spiderman. like us on facebook so you can weigh in and don't forget on check out the entire political playground episode. i promise, i am a little biased but i don't think you'll be disappointed. straight ahead -- i really hope i don't have any of those. we'll explain. all