Workers in Massachusetts no longer have to choose between going to work sick and losing income thanks to a vote approved Tuesday. State residents approved the Question 4 paid sick leave mandate with a vote of 60 to 40, making them the third state with this rare American luxury.

Workers will accumulate one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work. The ruling will go into effect July 15, 2015, but only for companies with 11 or more employees, and they’ll be capped at 40 hours of sick time per year. It’s too much of a burden for small businesses to pay for their small number of employees to stay home with a cold or broken foot for that matter. For the other 47 states, people are worried about losing wages, experiencing a backlog of work, or even punishment from their boss.

Earlier this year, NSF International asked more than 1,000 American adults if they go to work sick. A quarter of the national respondents said they’ve gone to work sick before, and 37 percent of them say it was because they needed the money. Another 42 percent said they clocked in while they were sick because too much work would pile up if they weren’t there to take care of it.

Currently, six in 10 private-sector workers enjoy paid sick leave, according to the Bureau of Statistics. But this new mandate will require all companies with 11 or more employees to follow the rule. It’ll also allow employers to request the person using sick time to provide a “doctor’s note” if they’re out for 24 consecutive hours. The law will also protect workers from being punished for exercising their right to take sick leave.

What employer would want a sick person in their office? Germs spread and it’s much better to keep your employee at home where she can recover faster and keep far away from the rest of the office. The U.S. is experiencing an insufficient sleep epidemic that was recently deemed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a public health problem. An estimated 50 to 70 million people have a sleep disorder, which means each and every one of those people have weakened immune systems. Your work environment isn’t one of the most “sick-friendly” place due to the close proximity of common rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom, and shared items such as the printer, fax machine, copier, stapler, etc.

Food and retail lobbyists have been some of the leading opposers to paid sick leave, which is disconcerting if you think about it. Why would you want to incentivize a sick person to be around food? On the other end, the ballot measure was supported by the Raise Up Massachusetts group that’s also been pushing to raise minimum wage. They were successful, and in June, Gov. Deval Patrick (D), signed a bill that will increase minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2017.

Are Massachusetts legislators fiscally irresponsible by burdening businesses with higher minimum wages and paid sick leave? Or are they just ahead of the curve and these are the future working standards for every American in all 50 states?