Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Returns

Mandatory paid sick leave in Connecticut workplaces--at a minimum of one hour for every 40 hours worked by an employee—is again being proposed by the legislature’s Labor Committee.

Lawmakers say this year is all about “jobs,” but SB 913 is a costly proposal more likely to prevent job growth in Connecticut. If the bill passes, a small business of 50 employees could face an added annual personnel cost of $20,000 (based on an employee wage of $10 per hour).

And even though SB 913 currently applies to businesses with 50 or more employees, proponents ultimately want to expand the workplace mandate to all companies.

Clearly this is no time to impose such a costly mandate on employers in the state. Connecticut lost more than 100,000 jobs in the recession and the state’s official unemployment rate still stands at about 9%.

If passed, this proposal will:

  • Make Connecticut the first state in the nation to mandate paid time off
  • Make Connecticut businesses less competitive with those in other states
  • Increase labor costs significantly if an employer provides anything less than the state mandate for sick time 
  • Prevent employers from using attendance and other personnel policies that conflict with the state mandate 

Becoming the first state in the nation to mandate paid time off for employees would be a regrettable step backward, given the state’s high unemployment, struggling economy and weak job-growth prospects. Other states have avoided it just because it is a job-killer.

If mandatory paid time off passes, many employers have said they will be forced to cover the extra costs by reducing employees’ benefits, cutting their hours or even eliminating positions. That’s a steep price to pay.

Still, mandatory paid time off is a high priority of organized labor and its supporters in the legislature. Disregarding what employers have said about its harmful impact on jobs and workplace costs, advocates continue to press for the mandate.

Individual businesses should have the flexibility to develop benefits based on what they can afford, what works best for their employees and what competitive market forces demand, in order to attract and keep qualified employees.

CBIA encourages its members to contact the Labor Committee and tell them how it will affect business operations, labor costs and the ability to grow and create jobs in the state during today’s difficult economy.

The Labor Committee is holding a public hearing on the proposal next week in the State Legislative Office Building in Hartford.  CBIA urges lawmakers to reject SB 913 because it will hurt Connecticut businesses and their employees—a dangerous step in today’s poor economy.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Kia Murrell at 860.244.1931 or kia.murrell@cbia.com.

Discussion

Gloria Cody

Allowing employers and employees to negotiate paid time off benefits both parties. It helps keep CT small businesses competitive and allows employees benefits packages to be more flexible to meet each employees' specific needs.

william wilber

Nothing like democrats stealing more money from companies. They wrecked GM, and Chrys;ler and the american taxpayer bailed out the unions. Now they want more. They don't want to work but want to be paid for not working. Anyone voting for this bill should be voted out of office.