Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010

BREAKING: Paid Sick Days Appeals Gets a Jan. 20 Court Date

By Lisa Kaiser
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The attempt to restore the paid sick days ordinance in Milwaukee just took a big step forward.

As explained in the Shepherd’s cover story this week, 9to5: The Association for Working Women is appealing Circuit Court Judge Cooper’s ruling last June that the ordinance is unconstitutional because it included time of for resolving issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Cooper decided that “sick days” shouldn’t cover these issues.

9to5 and allies are arguing that victims of these acts absolutely need paid time off to resolve their problems. Just getting a restraining order or finding new, safe housing takes much longer than a simple lunch hour meeting. Allowing threatened women paid time off to address their needs, immediately, helps them retain their jobs and income and build up their independence—all of that works toward breaking the cycle of violence. It also helps to reduce threats to public safety (heck, even Mayor Barrett got caught up in a domestic dispute this past summer) and the very real, lingering health issues that stem from abuse.

Late yesterday, District IV Court of Appeals in Madison announced it will hear the case on Jan. 20, in Madison. There will be oral arguments.

I’ll keep you posted.

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