- Cullman, Alabama


April 4, 2013

COMMENTARY: Healthful Logic Leads to Paid Sick Days


According to one study, offering U.S. workers seven paid sick days a year would save the economy an estimated $160 billion annually in reduced turnover and increased productivity.

Fortunately, the push for paid sick leave has picked up steam. Since 2006, when San Francisco became the first city to pass sick-leave laws, Washington D.C., Seattle and Connecticut have enacted versions of this humane, common-sense legislation. A few weeks ago, the Portland City Council voted unanimously to require paid sick leave, thanks to the testimony and advocacy of Rizzio and others. The Philadelphia City Council has passed similar legislation, which Mayor Michael Nutter threatens to veto.

Despite some critics' predictions, these laws haven't brought businesses to their knees. After Connecticut passed its sick-leave law, employment rose in the most affected industries. The same happened in San Francisco, where employment in the service and hospitality sectors grew faster than it did in neighboring counties, and where, during the Great Recession, more than 80 percent of employers surveyed said the law had no impact on their bottom line.

The latest — and sweetest — illustration of this movement's momentum comes from my home town of New York, where City Council Speaker and Democratic mayoral front-runner Christine Quinn had refused to bring a paid-sick-leave bill to a vote. For three straight years.

Some 39 of the 51 council members, a clear majority, supported the bill, which would have required businesses with more than five employees to offer five days of paid sick leave. Nearly three-quarters of New Yorkers — including 60 percent of Republicans — said they would go even further and require employers to provide seven days of paid sick leave.

Yet Quinn, eager to court the city's pro-business elite — and having accepting $370,000 in campaign contributions from sick-leave opponents — held out, insisting she was protecting small businesses in a shaky economic recovery.

Text Only
  • COMMENTARY: A break from the campaign rhetoric

    The collective sigh of relief felt throughout Cullman Wednesday morning signaled the end of another primary political season the previous night. As Wednesday’s Times headline told us, it was a clean sweep.

    July 21, 2014

  • Harris Coleman COMMENTARY: Billy Coleman, a true statesman

    King Solomon said, “Pride will ruin people, but those who are humble will be honored.” He also said, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Billy Coleman, the past elected superintendent of Cullman County Schools, is the living example of these wise statements of truth.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • COMMENTARY: Twisty road back to Cullman

    The young journalist who was somewhat listening to the elder newspaperman on the other side of the desk didn’t have a clue.

    July 19, 2014

  • Commentary: Why your Facebook friends are so gullible

    These stories aren't real. They're the work of the New Yorker's not-particularly-funny online satirist Andy Borowitz, but many people, not just your gullible Facebook friends, invariably believe them. Sometimes the official state news agencies of global superpowers believe them.

    March 19, 2014

  • OPINION: Who belongs in the delivery room?

    Should a father be allowed in the delivery room for the birth of his child, over the mother's objections? A New Jersey judge said no last November, in a ruling that was released in writing earlier this week.

    March 13, 2014

  • SLATE COMMENTARY: Should Detroit be allowed to issue its own visas to immigrants?

    Under the plan, immigrants coming to the U.S. under visas aimed at those with "advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in science, business or the arts" would be "required to live and work in Detroit, a city that has fallen to 700,000 residents from 1.8 million in the 1950s."

    January 29, 2014

  • COMMENTARY: Rules for babies in restaurants

    "Maybe Don't Bring Your Baby to a 3-Star Restaurant," Jezebel suggests, in response to a kerfuffle over a Chicago couple bringing their 8-month-old to the ultraexclusive restaurant Alinea because their babysitter canceled.

    January 17, 2014

  • WORKOUT-WEAR2.jpg COMMENTARY: Workout Wear Friday? No sweat, boss!

    People in fitness gear are more likely to exercise — or at least to think about it. So let's get everyone in comfortable, moisture-wicking outfits once a week to demonstrate our commitment to physical activity.

    January 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • The Undead and the Unborn

    In this season of ghosts and ghouls, we seem to respect the undead more than the unborn. How unfortunate. Witness the popularity of television programs featuring blood sucking vampires and walking corpses, while in Texas, a new provision making it difficult for women to get an abortion is immensely unpopular. How unbelievable.

    November 28, 2013

  • Google Is Google wrecking our memory?

    Is the Internet ruining our ability to remember facts? If you've ever lunged for your smartphone during a bar argument, then you've no doubt felt the nagging fear that your in-brain memory is slowly draining away.

    September 27, 2013 1 Photo