Business owners gathered to support earned paid sick time

By Steve Ahlquist

“I strongly believe the policy has been good for my business. It’s part of what goes into respecting your team, building morale, and getting results,” said Jessica Rhodes, founder and CEO of the Warwick-based podcast agency, Interview Connections. “On top of that, I have employees with children and with serious medical needs who really rely this benefit to manage their work and their lives at home. Everyone deserves that.”

Rhodes was joined by three other business owners and Doug Hall, Director of Fiscal and Economic Policy and the Economic Progress Institute (EPI), at Hudson Street Deli to talk about the Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act. The bill, if passed, would provide all workers in Rhode Island with the ability to earn up to seven paid sick days to take care of their health needs, take care of a loved one, and to escape domestic violence.

“This is a basic protection,” said Bryan Rinebolt, who owns the Hudson Street Deli with his wife, Chrissy Tek. “When working people or their family members get sick, they are forced to decide whether they can afford to lose a day’s pay to get the care they need. As the owner of a business where food is served, I don’t want my employees to have to be in that position. I also don’t want them to come in sick when they are handling food, and I know my customers don’t want that, either.