News & Media Coverage

Should voters support Ballot Question 4?

October 19, 2014  |  The Boston Globe


Elijah Romulus, a Brockton resident who is marketing director of South Shore Haitians United for Progress and a community leader with Brockton Interfaith Community

Massachusetts voters need to vote yes on Question 4 in November’s election.

Today in our state, almost 1 million hard-working people can’t take one day of sick time to take care of themselves or a sick child without risking losing their job.

Every day I hear stories of what this means. A mother who is fired from her job because she had to take her child to the hospital. A man with an eye infection who’s afraid to call out of work for fear of his hours being cut. A man who couldn’t say goodbye to his dying mother because his employer told him that if he left early he shouldn’t bother coming back.

That’s why nearly 7,000 volunteers around the state collected signatures to put a question on the ballot that would guarantee access to earned sick time for all workers in Massachusetts.

Question 4 would allow workers at companies with 10 or fewer employees to earn up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time. Workers at companies with 11 or more employees would earn up to 40 hours of paid sick time.

And Question 4 protects employees from being fired or penalized just for using their earned sick time.

In today’s 24-7 economy, so many are struggling to balance work, family, and life’s many challenges. The least we can do is ensure that people are able to deal with the inevitable reality of a personal health issue, a sick child, or family illness without fear of losing their job.

The economic reasons to pass Question 4 are clear. Many businesses support earned sick time because it reduces employee turnover, increases productivity, and helps their bottom line. States and municipalities that have implemented earned sick time have seen job growth, and most employers report no negative impact on their profitability.

As a community leader working with people across the South Shore, I see firsthand just how many people this question will positively impact. Voting yes on Question 4 is voting to help workers be better employees and better family members. If you think Massachusetts families deserve better, then vote yes on Question 4.