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John Petro

Speaker Quinn Should Reconsider Stance on Sick Leave Policy

New research adds to the considerable evidence showing paid sick leave legislation would not harm businesses in New York City. Earlier this week, a study of San Francisco employers by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that a majority (two-thirds) of employers there support the law four years after it was implemented. Support was equally strong among small businesses.

This new research sheds new light on what impact a similar bill, delayed by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, would have in New York City.

When the vast majority of businesses in San Francisco say that the paid sick days hasn’t hurt their bottom line, it’s time for Speaker Quinn to take back her claim that it would kill small businesses in New York. The evidence is decidedly against her stance.

The study found that most workers don’t even use all of their allotted sick leave. The median number of paid sick days used by San Francisco employees was three. One quarter of all workers did not use a single paid sick day.

This suggests that previous cost estimates, which assumed workers would use all of their available days, are way higher than they would actually be.

Other findings from the survey, which polled 718 businesses and 1,200 workers in San Francisco:

  • Six out of seven businesses did not report any negative effect on their profitability because of paid sick leave.

  • Two-thirds of small businesses (1 to 9 employees) support paid sick leave.

  • Seventy-one percent of small business did not report any negative effect on their profitability (14 percent said “Don’t Know”).

  • Only four percent of small businesses reported that the new law worsened the predictability of employee absences, indicating that absenteeism is not an issue.

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Posted at 12:48 PM, Feb 11, 2011 in
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