Even if you don’t live in New York City, you should be keeping an eye on the paid sick leave bill everyone in the nation’s largest city is buzzing about. The bill, passed by New York’s City Council, would require businesses with 20 or more employees to provide up to five paid sick days for them, and would take effect in April 2014 unless the economy undergoes a significant financial downturn.
Although BusinessMirror reports that Mayor Bloomberg has vowed to veto it, the bill’s passage seems to be part of a nationwide wave of change. Paid sick days are already required in Connecticut, San Francisco, Washington, DC and Seattle, and legislation is pending in Philadelphia, Massachusetts and Vermont.
While some business owners claim that required paid sick leave would put them out of business and other opponents argue that paid sick leave will stymie job creation, a variety of studies have shown the opposite. One study by the Drum Major Institute found that after paid sick leave was instituted in San Francisco, employment grew by 3.5 percent in the city (while shrinking in surrounding counties that didn’t require paid sick leave) and that the number of businesses grew by nearly two percent (while falling by .61 percent in neighboring counties). In addition, for 70 percent of the businesses studied in San Francisco the change had either a positive impact, or no impact, on profitability. (Only 14 percent claim it hurt profits.)
Personally, I think offering paid sick leave is simply the right thing to do—whether or not it cuts into your profits a bit. The move is sure to be pay for itself with increased employee loyalty and morale, which can only result in better service to your customers and clients who don’t want to deal with germ-laden workers.
What do you think?
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