Workers in states all over the United States are joining a movement for earned paid sick leave and seeing major victories. It's common sense and smart business. Now, business owners are getting on board.
Nearly 300 small businesses have joined a campaign to support laws that require employers to give their workers paid sick days. The businesses have endorsed the Businesses for Earned Leave campaign, a partnership of American Sustainable Business Council, the Main Street Alliance and Social Venture Network. On Tuesday, the coalition launched a website supporting the campaign, Better Workplaces, Better Businesses.
A number of large business groups, chain restaurants and conservative organizations oppose paid sick leave laws, claiming that the policy drives up costs. Evidence from the growing number of places that require paid sick leave, however, suggests otherwise. According to the Economic Policy Institute, paid sick days only impose a small cost on businesses. There is also no evidence to support the claim that paid sick leave costs jobs. And the National Partnership for Women and Families has shown there are numerous benefits to companies that provide paid sick days to their employees, including increased productivity.
Currently one state (Connecticut) and four cities (San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and Washington, D.C.) require paid sick days. New York City likely will soon be the fifth city to pass such legislation. Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed the measure, but it is expected to be overridden.
The coalition also is planning to launch campaigns for expanding family and medical leave as well.