A number of states are looking at making paid sick days a standard benefit that comes with a job. Some 46 million U.S. workers lack them, but with federal legislation stalled, lawmakers in a dozen states could take matters into their own hands.

The federal bill being discussed would give those who work 30 or more hours a week seven days of paid sick leave per year. Part-time workers would be given a pro-rated amount of paid leave.

Advocates say the goal is make workplaces safer and more healthy, especially for those who handle food or work with children for a living.

Businesses, especially smaller companies, say if this becomes standard it'll become harder to provide a more flexible array of benefits, especially in leaner economic times.