Paid Sick Leave Results: Not What Was Promised
Why double-down on something that hasn’t achieved what it set out to do? That was the unanswered question this week in a public hearing on HB 6784 that would expand Connecticut’s paid sick leave mandate.
Connecticut rushed ahead to become the first state to adopt mandatory paid sick leave in 2011, and since then has been joined by only two other states.
Proponents claimed the law would reduce sickness in the workplace and decrease employee turnover.
Yet there’s no convincing evidence of either result.
What the data does show is that since the mandate was passed, according to one study, the 88.5% of employers already offering some form of paid sick leave to their employees had to incur additional costs just to make sure their practices were in compliance with the state's inflexible mandate.
In other words, even those “doing the right thing” were punished.
What’s more, no study on paid sick leave has ever been released that didn't note that some employers had to increase prices, reduce other benefits, or reduce employee working hours as a result of the law–or more likely, some combination of all three.
Now, despite the request by some groups to expand the mandate, it’s hard to point to a reliable reason to justify such an expansion.
Yet HB 6784 would take the state's paid sick leave mandate on employers with 50 employees or more and apply it to businesses with 10 or more employees.
And rather apply it to a list of job titles, the bill would apply the mandate to all hourly employees, allow for the accumulation of seven paid sick leave days rather than five, and allow for the use of paid sick leave to care for the illness or injury of additional extended family members.
Still spared the mandate—for now—are Connecticut’s manufacturers.
Mandates like these only hurt Connecticut’s job creators that are trying to create more opportunities.
Non-wage benefits should be something businesses increase naturally in order to compete with other businesses for top talent–not something forcibly increased by government fiat.
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