The message rang loudly and clearly around the halls of the State Capitol and the Legislative Office Building today. Mandating paid sick leave burdens business. And, during this time of economic uncertainty, runs the risk of crippling it.
That's what more than 100 Connecticut businesses wrote in written testimony to the legislature's Labor and Public Employees Committee.
That's what CBIA's Kia Murrell, who has fought this battle in past years, told the committee today during a public hearing on the paid sick leave bill, SB 913.
That's what another lawmaker, Senator Michael McLachlan (R-Danbury), emailed to supporters, urging them to speak out against a piece of legislation he described as a job-killer.
And that's what Michael Saltsman, a research fellow with the Washington, D.C., non-profit Employment Policies Institute, told the committee when he testified today.
"Many impacted employers have low profit margins, so for each dollar in revenue, only a few cents are made in profit--meaning there's not a lot of leeway for added labor costs,” said Saltsman. “This is especially true among employees already earning the minimum, and could cause job loss among this vulnerable group."
Saltsman (pictured above), also quickly exposed the shortcomings of a survey by the Institute for Women's Policy Research, which Connecticut advocates claimed showed support from employers and employees alike for San Francisco's paid sick leave mandate.
"According to that survey... close to 30 percent of employees in the bottom fifth of earners reported layoffs or reduced hours at their place of work after passage of the paid sick leave mandate," Saltsman said.
"Their research also reveals this shocking statistic: More than eight out of 10 employers in San Francisco said the paid sick leave ordinance had no effect on the number of employees who came to work sick."
It should be enough that 86 percent of Connecticut workers already have access to paid leave benefits. It should be enough that mandates constrict, not create jobs, It should be enough that the unintended consequences of this bill are glaringly obvious.
Let's hope it's enough when the committee votes later this week.[Photo courtesy CT News Junkie]