Local

Judges order sick leave initiative on 2014 ballot

A three-judge panel has ordered the Orange County Board of County Commissioners to place a sick leave initiative on the next ballot, which is scheduled for August 2014.

Commissioners kept the issue off the November 2012 ballot, citing cost and concerns over the wording of the question to go before voters.

It would have placed before voters the question of whether most employers in Orange County should be required to provide paid sick leave to workers.

Organize Florida, which led the effort to collect over 50,000 signatures, offered this comment:

"Orange County citizens signed an unprecedented 52,000 petitions to put Earned Sick Time on the ballot," said Organize Now executive director Stephanie Porta.  "Today, the court sent a clear message to the County Commission to get about the business of letting our county vote on whether hardworking families should be able to earn sick time to recuperate from an illness or care for a loved one.  Our American tradition of direct democracy was affirmed by the court.  These commissioners broke the law by refusing to put Earned Sick Time on the ballot.  This order requires them to come correct and do the right thing by Orange County voters whether they want to or not."
The Orlando Sentinel reported that county attorneys were looking over the ruling. The mayor would be briefed next week.

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