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.