Rupert Murdoch Calls Paid Sick Leave ‘Absurd’

Rupert Murdoch is evidently not a fan of paid sick leave. Over the weekend, the media mogul trashed the New York Times for its editorial supporting New York City’s paid sick leave bill, arguing that small businesses shouldn’t be required to let employees take a day off if they’ve got the flu or have to stay home to care for a sick child.

Murdoch, who owns two other New York papers and so may have a vendetta against the Times, posted his thoughts over Twitter:

Following on Murdoch’s comments, the New York Daily News editorial board also came out against the sick day initiative, praising City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D) for opposing the bill.

The proposed law would require any business in New York City with over 20 employees to give a total of nine paid sick days a year; for those with 19 or fewer employees, five paid sick days would be required.

The people who are most affected by a lack of paid sick days are low-income people who work hourly wage jobs. Single mothers, in particular, are hit hard when they risk losing money, if not their job, to take care of a sick child.

Studies suggest that employees who get paid time off end up healthier. Indeed, access to paid sick leave leads to a decrease in occupational injuries. Plus, when sick employees have paid time off, they don’t risk losing their job or their wages by taking a day to recover, and thus they don’t show up to work sick, possibly spreading disease to coworkers and causing an overall drop in productivity.