Lawmakers in several American cities are proposing a bill that would allow more employees to take sick leave without fear of being fired.

State lawmakers are sick of having their food coughed on.

A bill that would allow workers to call in sick without worrying about being fired or losing a day’s wages is waiting to be passed in New York, Washington, Massachusetts and Vermont, according to a Bloomberg article.

Forty-four million Americans don’t have paid sick leave. Michael Cockrell, a cook and dishwasher in Philadelphia, is one of them.

Cockrell went to work when he was sick with the flu and when his son, who is 5, was hospitalized for an asthma attack.

“If I wasn’t fearful of being terminated, I wouldn’t have gone to work either of those times,” Cockrell told Bloomberg. “You can cover your mouth, but those germs are microscopic. You don’t know where they’re going and what food they’re landing on.”

Supporters for the bill say the Family and Medical Leave Act doesn’t cover all that it needs to.

Although the 20-year-old act allows as much as 12 weeks of job-protected leave, it doesn’t cover 40 percent of workers. Only those who work more than 25 hours a week for businesses with 50 employees or more are covered.

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