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Old 9th September 2008, 02:12 PM   #1
sannwood
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Default Legislation Pushing For Paid Sick Time

I was reading one of my regular blog stops today and found an interesting article titled: Proposed Federal Legislation Provides Paid Sick Time In 12 States.

What was interesting about the article were the comments from readers that it included. It was interesting to see everyone's take on the topic. I understand that from a small business owners point of view, this can be costly. But illness and sickness do happen and let's face it - this type of thing can be abused by employees.

Here's a sampling of comments from the post:
Quote:
"My motto: If you donít work, you donít get paid. If you are not at the office, how will you contribute to the production? On the other hand, I donít think you should go to work if you are sick or if you children are sick, but donít think you should get paid for not working. The solution would be less taxes and more private insurance."

"I understand what youíre saying about sick time. But 7 days a year is a lot, especially for someone who works just 30 hours a week."

"Survival of the fittest I say ó not employees, but businesses. If the only way a business operates profitably is through treating employees like machinery, then it, like a Plantation of the Old South, has no right to exist further."
What do YOU think?

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Old 9th September 2008, 03:31 PM   #2
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There may be a benefit to companies to provide this. For example, a sick employee is less productive, and may sicken other coworkers. Plus working while sick can lengthen an illness.

On the flip side, people can and do abuse sick days, however if the numbers of days are capped at a reasonable amount, it shouldn't be too onerous for businesses.

Perhaps legislate a tax break for companies who provide sick day benefits...?

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Old 9th September 2008, 04:54 PM   #3
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The company I work for already provides us with a generous "benefit time" allowance. Basically, we don't have sick days -- or personal days, or vacation time either, for that matter.

Instead, we get a bank of four weeks of "benefit time" we can use as we see fit.

If you or a child are sick a lot, you get up to four weeks of sick time before you have to start dipping into any sort of FMLA or other negotiated leave time. If you're healthy, you can take up to four weeks of vacation and personal days. (Five weeks after you've been here ten years -- and we have quite a few people who have been here that long, some a lot longer.)

And if you don't use all your time, you get paid for up to five days' worth on your next hire anniversary date -- effectively giving yourself a one-week bonus. (You lose any time over 40 hours that you don't take, but most folks here don't seem to have any problem keeping under the 40-hour limit. )

The only problem I have with the legislation as I've seen it written up to this point is that it doesn't take situations like my company's into account. It mandates businesses have to give their employees sick time in addition to existing time off.

What that means is likely my company will have to reduce some other benefits in order to pay for an additional number of sick days on top of their already generous time off allowance.

But ya know? Most of us like our benefit package the way it is. We've got a number of other sweet benefits going here, and I'd hate to see them taken away because the company can't afford to keep up with federal mandated sick days and all the other perks they offer us.

To me, the benefit time bank concept my company uses is a lot more flexible and does a lot more to promote work-life balance than having some set of mandated sick days.

So if they can write the legislation to exempt businesses that already offer better/more flexible plans, then I have no problem with it. But if they're going to force my company into the position of having to cut back on other desirable benefits to fund an additional set of sick days none of us need, I'm going to be really annoyed.

--Torka

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Old 10th September 2008, 12:34 AM   #4
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Default Read the fine print

I have to agree with Torka on this one. Of course, I too say that as I sit here with a job and employer I love.

I realize that it would be naive of us to think there aren't still companies out there that abuse these privileges, and in that case, I agree with one of the quotes from Sannwood's post.

"Survival of the fittest I say ó not employees, but businesses. If the only way a business operates profitably is through treating employees like machinery, then it, like a Plantation of the Old South, has no right to exist further."

But the reality is usually somewhere in the middle. What I don't like about the law is that it takes away the business owner's right to choose how to operate their business. I do like protecting the sick and helpless but am nervous there is way more to this law then meets the eye.

The only concrete exposure I've had in regards to it was a Chamber of Commerce meeting I recently attended. I know our chamber has a person spearheading educational efforts about the law and to help protect small businesses. His main concern and advice was to read the fine print, to pay attention to what ELSE is tacked onto the bill before voting to pass it.

We may get more than we bargained for.

Just my thoughts.

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Old 10th September 2008, 09:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel View Post
His main concern and advice was to read the fine print, to pay attention to what ELSE is tacked onto the bill before voting to pass it.

We may get more than we bargained for.

Just my thoughts.
Not only are we likely to get more than we bargained for but it is not likely that a law of this type would ever be reversed if passed.

A good example is Home Rule in the State of Illinois. Several years ago after much hoopla and fanfare Ė it was promoted under the premise that this would give us control without being told by the state or county what to do - a law was passed giving municipalities the right to impose sales tax in addition to those mandated by the state and counties.

What was really accomplished is that an addition layer of taxation was created. The end result is that in Illinois we have the highest sales tax in the nation. In my community it is a whopping 10%. It will not get lower or ever go away.

So, as Rachel has suggested, look before you leap.

Tom

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Old 12th September 2008, 03:32 AM   #6
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"Survival of the fittest I say ó not employees, but businesses. If the only way a business operates profitably is through treating employees like machinery, then it, like a Plantation of the Old South, has no right to exist further."

I agree with this comment, Sanwood. In addition to that, if businesses can't survive then this will also mean no more employment. So we'd better take care of each other (employer and employee). That will sound better.

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Old 15th September 2008, 03:29 PM   #7
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Not only are we likely to get more than we bargained for but it is not likely that a law of this type would ever be reversed if passed.
I have to agree with you, Tom. That's the definite downside to matters such as this. They seem to become permanent . . . good or bad.

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