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How do you feel about state mandated paid sick time?

Connecticut becomes first state to mandate paid sick time

ReutersBy Lauren Keiper | Reuters - 21 hrs ago

BOSTON (Reuters) - Connecticut became the first state in the nation this month to mandate paid sick days for workers, a move advocates say could be a catalyst for similar campaigns in 20 other cities and states considering such a benefit.

Bartenders, librarians, dental hygienists and other service workers in Connecticut are poised to earn paid sick time at the start of 2012.

While San Francisco and Washington, D.C. currently guarantee paid sick days for workers, with some minor variations in the laws, Connecticut is the first state to follow their lead.

The move is being watched closely by Massachusetts and California and the cities of Philadelphia, Seattle and Denver, all of which are considering similar legislation or have active campaigns underway, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families.

Advocates say paid sick days reduce public health risks and provide job security for workers who need time off to care for themselves or a sick family member at relatively minimal cost to employers. Opponents say the costs are unaffordable.

"The basic reality is that there are 40 million people in the United States that don't have paid sick days," said Vicki Shabo, director of work and family programs at the National Partnership.

"They risk being fired or disciplined if they are sick, a child is sick, or a family member needs medical care," Shabo said.

In Connecticut, service workers will accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked that can be used after having been employed a certain amount of time. They must work, on average, at least 10 hours a week and can accrue up to five days.

Some estimates show the cost to employers that currently provide no sick days would be a small fraction of sales. Proponents note that studies show typical workers will use far fewer than their allotted sick days.


The bill, passed by legislators earlier this summer, covers only service workers paid by the hour at firms with more than 50 employees, excluding manufacturers and some others.

Despite the limitations, advocates say the law is an important catalyst for burgeoning campaigns to mandate sick pay elsewhere. There are roughly 20 cities and states moving toward such a requirement.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed the bill on July 1 and has long supported the paid sick leave mandate.

"Why would you want to eat food from a sick restaurant cook? Or have your children taken care of by a sick day care worker? The simple answer is you wouldn't. And now, you won't have to," Malloy has said.

Those opposed argue the costs, which could vary substantially across business sectors, are too high. Some business groups say it will drive up labor costs.

Employers, particularly small businesses such as restaurants or hair salons, will be hard-pressed to find the money for those added benefits, they say. A still-sputtering economy amplifies the challenge.

"When you increase the cost of hiring people in a down market, you also decrease the likelihood of growing and creating jobs," said Kia Murrell, assistant counsel for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.

For employers to comply, it could mean passing higher prices on to consumers or reducing employee wages and benefits in other ways.

Connecticut employers are already a generous bunch, and this mandate puts the state at a competitive disadvantage in attracting new businesses, Murrell said.

Answer Question

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 12:18 PM on Jul. 11, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (32)
  • Employers, particularly small businesses such as restaurants or hair salons, will be hard-pressed to find the money for those added benefits

    From my own (15 years) experiences and interactions in the bus. community~ I agree with this statement. In many discussions I have heard business owners (50-100 employees) say that for every $1 spent on wages, many already pay around $.45 for vacation, health care and other benefits. Add this to what the employer pays~ Where is the incentive to hire? 


    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 12:29 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • Sounds like it will put a lot of people out of work just so people can get paid to take a mental health day and go to a game.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 12:31 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • I think thats good!

    Answer by kyheavensmom at 12:36 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • I think it's a bad idea for the government to begin mandating these types of expenses onto employers.

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 12:42 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • Fine, but I will have to cut wages and raise my prices to cover it. The govt needs to back off businesses or we are going to sink into a deep depression.

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 12:44 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • I support state's rights, but am interested in how this will effect the small businesses in the state. I'm not much for mandates like this.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 12:46 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • I support state's rights, but am interested in how this will effect the small businesses in the state. I'm not much for mandates like this.

    Yea, Small businesses are the ones who do the majority of new hires in the US.. When a state takes it upon themselves to mandate companies, I just don't see HOW they see this as helping job growth.  Many small business trade groups have released slow hiring numbers.  One reason, some business owners/mgrs have said~health care costs... Now, add 'sick days' to the list of mandates~ Economics 101 tells us the predictable outcome is ~limiting hours of existing employees, less growth, lower pay, and higher consumer costs....  Add this to the reason why more US jobs go overseas....  Lower labor costs can do that, don't ya know...


    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 12:58 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • I was a single mom and I waited tables for years. I had bosses who would fire you or seriously reduce your weekly hours if you called in sick. I also lost a couple of jobs because I was expected to either find a replacement or work that day. I'm sick, throwing up my guts, had a headache, the flu, a cold...didn't matter. How many germs do you think I 'shared' with all my coworkers and paying customers? What would you rather?


    Answer by meooma at 12:59 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • Everywhere I have worked since the 1960's had paid sick days. I don't see what is wrong with it. I rarely took sick days---I suppose I was sreading germs when I went to work---but I just didn't use my sick days. I feel sorry for Moms with kids and anyone who does NEED the paid sick days though. There are a few who abuse it and just take a day off to have fun....but its not that common.ANyway, not where I worked. We cared about our jobs and wanted to show up.

    Answer by minnesotanice at 1:00 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • All people need paid sick days. I know that money has to come from somewhere but we are going to decrease public health if the entire working class has no paid sick days. If they vote it down, wouldn't it be more likely for any nonunion worker to lose their rights to paid sick days?

    Answer by AmaliaD at 1:08 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

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