Monday, September 19, 2011

In the Know: Paid Sick Leave

"The Seattle city council voted 8-1 to mandate that all but the smallest companies – those with fewer than five workers – give at least five paid days off a year to employees who are sick, need to care for a sick family member, or who are victims of domestic abuse and need to take time off to assist law enforcement or attend court hearings. Businesses with more than 250 workers would have to provide nine days.

Mayor Mike McGinn is expected to sign the measure, putting Seattle in a league with San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; and Connecticut, where a state law takes effect in January. Residents of Denver will vote on a similar measure this fall, and proponents are pushing for a statewide paid sick days law in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Milwaukee passed a sick-leave bill in 2008 that was later pre-empted by the state Legislature, and this year Philadelphia’s city council passed one which was vetoed by its mayor."

Proponents say requiring private businesses to provide paid sick leave will increase productivity and benefit both employers and employees. Opponents say it is an infringement on the liberties of the private sector and will demand other parts of the employee's compensation package be reduced.

What do you think? Looking beyond whether you would like to have paid sick leave, should the government (either city, state, or federal) have the power to require such things of private business? Is it protecting workers and helping business owners? Or is it infringing on the personal liberties and stifling growth from those who strive to create jobs and fuel our economy?

I would love to hear your thoughts. And assume you will be wearing a sparkly cocktail ring when writing them, which will lighten your mood and the tone of the discussion. :)

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