A bill that would require bosses to allow their workers to earn sick leave looks like it will die in the state Senate this year.
Just two days ago, workers' advocates were jubilant to get the bill through the House of Delegates. But Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller threw cold water on hopes that it would pass his chamber this year.
Miller said the sick leave bill is "a wonderful bill and a great idea" but said it came to the Senate from the House with only three days left in the General Assembly session.
"There will be a strong push on that from both the House and Senate on that next year," Miller said Thursday night.
The bill approved by the House requires companies with at least 15 employees to allow workers to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, to a total of 56 hours of leave -- or seven days -- per year.
Companies with fewer employees would have to offer the same amount of unpaid leave.
The bill has exemptions for employees younger than 18 and for seasonal employees who work fewer than 90 days in a 12-month period.
The Senate's slightly different version of the bill has 24 cosponsors -- enough votes to be approved by the 47-member chamber. But it has remained bottled up in the Senate Finance Committee, where five of the 11 members are cosponsors.
Opponents said the sick leave requirements would be an expensive burden on employers, while supporters said it would cut down on people showing up to work sick for fear of losing their jobs if they stayed home.