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Franken co-sponsors H1N1 sick-leave bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., co-sponsored legislation Wednesday that would guarantee up to seven days of paid sick leave for U.S. workers infected by the H1N1 virus.

“We know that staying home is the best way to combat the spread of the H1N1 virus,” Franken said in a statement. “And in this tough economy, we know folks can’t get by without a paycheck.”

Under the bill, which would sunset after two years, workers would be given paid leave for their own illness or to take care of a sick child or child whose school has been closed due to H1N1.  Medical certification could be required through regulation by the Department of Labor, according to Franken.

The senator’s announcement followed a House hearing Tuesday where Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., advised Congress to be mindful of the unintended consequences of such legislation. In prepared testimony, Kline raised a few points of concern, including how the new requirements would interact with existing policies and whether notification or certification would be required.

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