Ky. ‘Sick Day’ bill introduced as coronavirus continues to spread

Ky. ‘Sick Day’ bill introduced as coronavirus continues to spread

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Kentucky Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey is trying to lock down more sick time for Kentuckians as the coronavirus outbreak continues. The outbreak is wreaking havoc in many workplaces, prompting employees to work from if they can and causing face-to-face business meetings to be canceled or postponed.

Dan Hartlage, a part-owner at Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations, already works from home. He and his employees work remotely every day, allowing them to meet with clients even when they’re not face-to-face.

Though he’s an at-home worker, Hartlage also travels out of state quite a bit, and the COVID-19 coronavirus has brought that standard to screeching halt.

“I’ve had two projects in two weeks that’ve been stopped," Hartlage said.

He was scheduled to travel to Boulder, Colorado to meet with a director who planned to show his movie at South by Southwest (SXSW). Hartlage’s second trip was scheduled to be a media-training session in Los Angeles. Both trips have been canceled, putting a temporary hold on his earnings.

“I got a call yesterday saying, ‘Eh, let’s put a hold on that as well,’” Hartlage said. “I’d like to think not because I believe in both cases it’s probably not work that’s been canceled as much as it’s work that’s been delayed.”

Hartlage’s company is one of many fighting against the coronavirus in his professional life. Several employers across the country have forced employees to work from home as the virus continues to spread, which is why Sen. McGarvey sprang into action with Senate Bill 282.

“We don’t want people going to work right now who are sick,” Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey said.

On March 4, McGarvey introduced the bill, that if passed, would mandate three paid sick days per employee every year.

“We’ve got to have paid sick leave in there because we don’t want people to choose whether to stay at home or whether they’re going to keep their home," he said.

Speaking of home, Hartlage knows he may have to spend a few more days there in the weeks ahead. More business trips may get canceled, which could mean more FaceTime meetings with clients. Hartlage told WAVE 3 News that’s something he’s prepared for.

“There are bigger issues out there than somebody takes a business trip. that is, the health and safety of a whole lot of people.”

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