By Donald Cohen and Jake Blumgart. Originally published in the New York Daily News. October 8, 2010.
Your second-grader has been up half the night with a hacking cough. Do you call in to say you can't go to work - and risk losing a whole day's paycheck? Or do you pack some tissues in his lunch box and hope that he makes it through the school day without getting worse or infecting half the class?
No working parent should face such a choice. But for thousands of New York City's public school parents, this is a very real dilemma. It doesn't need to be.
According to one study, more than half of New York City public school working parents don't have any sick leave pay. And according to the newest numbers from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, it's toughest for the families who need every paycheck: Only 37% of the lowest-income workers in the New York City area can take a single day off and still get paid.