'Day of Action' pushing for universal sick leave in B.C.

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The BC Employment Standards Coalition in collaboration with the Retail Action Network has launched an online petition and Day of Action on Thursday, May 21, calling on the BC NDP government to legislate under the Employment Standards Act universal paid sick leave of all employees in the province.

“This action results from the provincial government’s failure to deal with the issue and from Premier John Horgan’s effort to divert attention from his government to the federal government,” said a news release. “The issue is clearly one of the minimum conditions of employment for all workers in B.C.”

Workers in B.C. without a union collective agreement have no paid sick leave rights under the Employment Standards Act – provincial legislation that sets out the minimum conditions of employment for all workers, such as maximum hours of work and paid statutory holidays.

Earlier this month Horgan commented that: “It was the urging of the public health officer that we ensure that people do not come to the workplace if they are ill.” But then he went on to say that: “People are not heroes when they do that, they’re villains.”

David Fairey, co-chair of the BC Employment Standards Coalition, in announcing this campaign, stated that “it is unfair to accuse sick workers of being irresponsible, of being villains, when they stand to lose income by not reporting for work in such circumstances. Employees should not be penalized for staying home, yet that’s exactly what happens to workers who don’t have access to paid sick leave.”

The petition and Day of Action information is at: http://bcemploymentstandardscoalition.com/paid-sick-days-for-all-petition-and-day-of-action-may-21st/ and https://retailaction.ca/covid19/

Burnaby Now