Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sick Time Blues...

According to a new poll, conducted by the Wall Street Journal and Harris Interactive, some 80% of us think it's a good idea to require our employers to give us paid sick days. To add insult to injury, almost as many claim that employers who take a pass on this unofficial tax will end up paying for it anyway.
Perhaps mitigating this entitlement mentality is the finding that about half of the 2,700 respondents understand that such a requirement would have adverse effects on their employers' business. So, there's some hope, after all.
What sparked this whole debate? Well, it seems that (no surprise) San Francisco now requires employers to grant paid sick time to their employees. And, certain members of Congress (who shall remain nameless) are looking to expand this nationally.
This would be in addition to exiting FMLA legislation, and could have some deleterious effects on our competitiveness in the global marketplace. And, of course, it could mean that a lot of Mom-and-Pop shops will find themselves shuttered, forced out of business by even more required benefits.
And this is, indeed, a "benefit:" many of us already have employer-subsidized health insurance, as well as short or long term disability cover. In effect, this kind of law would force employers to self-insure short- (or potentially long-) term disability claims. Since we know from previous excercises that employers don't pay premiums or taxes, such a mandate will lead to higher prices, fewer jobs, or both.
Kinda sickening, isn't it?
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