Critics oppose mandating paid sick leave because they say it will cost jobs or lower wages if businesses are forced to take on the extra financial burden. “If they could afford it, they would,” says Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health.
Other organizations that oppose the measures include the National Restaurant Association and the National Federation of Independent Business. “Making paid sick leave mandatory is problematic,” NFIB senior vice president for public policy Susan Eckerly emailed me in a statement. “It forces small businesses operating with narrow profit margins — or even losses — to sacrifice productivity and sales, which will ultimately result in job losses and business closures.”
Staff writer Jena McGregor teases out the leadership issues in the day’s news.
“I’ve got a woman’s ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it.”
An interview with CMS regional administrator David Sayen.
That there was ever a debate over whether or not women should be members at Augusta feels like something from another era.
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Still, some business groups do support paid sick leave laws. The Oregon affiliate of the Main Street Alliance, for instance, as well as VOIS, Portland’s “sustainable business community,” encouraged passage of the city’s Earned Sick Time Ordinance. In a report the two groups put together to increase support, they applauded the measure as something that helps businesses increase employee retention, improve productivity and protect the public health of customers. (According to one study the groups cited, 81 percent of workers in the food service industry in Portland do not have the opportunity to earn paid sick time). The report concluded: “Establishing a standard for earned paid sick time in Portland is not just good policy for workers and families. It makes good business sense, too.”
And while bigger businesses that already offer the benefit to employees may not be as vocal in their praise, they’re not that vocal in their opposition either, notes Garry Mathiason of employment law firm Littler Mendelson. He says he has watched initial controversy over the ordinance in San Francisco, where he is based, “fall off the radar,” as the changes were not seen as being all that onerous once enacted. In addition, big companies seemed happy enough to keep quiet and watch as their competitors were forced to provide the benefit as well.
“Larger employers [felt] they’re at a competitive disadvantage because they do provide paid sick leave,” Mathiason says. “Their silence was really very loud.”
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