For many Connecticut businesses, mandatory paid time off, as proposed in SB-63, will take away their ability to do just what everyone wants them to do this year: Create and keep good jobs.   

SB-63 requires many Connecticut employers with 50 or more employees to give a minimum of one hour paid time off for every 40 hours worked.  

Businesses said it will have a devastating effect: increasing their costs, making it harder for them to do business and adding to their administrative burdens—all of which could mean fewer jobs.

Employers expressed their frustrations about SB-63 to lawmakers this week in a Connecticut Business Day breakout session on labor issues.   

And before and after Business Day, hundreds of CBIA members wrote letters to the Labor Committee urging them to ditch the idea of mandatory paid time off and focus instead on ways to help keep and create jobs.     

Forcing the higher costs of mandatory paid time off (also referred to as paid sick leave in SB-63), said businesses, will also force them to cut costs elsewhere—by reducing compensation or benefits, or eliminating the jobs themselves.

At the breakout session, the owner of a small home health-care business said the problem with a paid sick leave mandate is that it doesn’t consider the cost of replacing a worker who calls in sick. If the sick leave mandate becomes law, the company will have to pass that additional cost onto their customers—in this case, elderly clients—because the company’s profit margin is very small.   

Another business executive wrote that adding mandates such as paid time off will force them to cut back other benefits, suspend hiring plans, potentially layoff more workers and reduce work schedules.   

The result is, mandatory paid time off will harm the very employees it’s supposed to help. Jobs won’t be created or saved, if employers’ costs are driven higher and administrative burdens made heavier by the legislature. Connecticut also would be the first state in the nation to require it.   

With Connecticut businesses among the best employers in the United States and provide some of the nation’s best wage and benefits packages, it makes sense to keep giving employers the flexibility to design workplace policies that balance the needs of their employees and demands of their businesses.  

It doesn’t make sense for state government to force a one-size-fits all policy such as SB-63 that will take away that flexibility.

This year, say businesses, the legislature should be making jobs their top priority. Employers want workers to be as healthy as possible on the job, but Connecticut also need our businesses to be able to stay in business and offer those jobs.          

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