Talking Points

  • A sick leave mandate will not accomplish what supporters hope it will. New mandates do not come without their costs – often in the form of increased employee responsibilities, fewer raises, fewer bonuses, reduced hours, or even layoffs.
  • Businesses have a set amount of resources. If they have to devote those resources to paying people who are not at work, they will have to make it up by cutting somewhere else.
  • Mandating paid sick leave will be particularly detrimental to small, locally owned businesses like corner stores, dry cleaners and barbershops. These “mom and pop” operations will likely bear the biggest burden.
  • Small businesses, especially financially stretched mom-and-pop operations, would have to pay double wages – wages for the absent worker and wages for their replacement.
  • Sick leave mandates will hit New Jersey seasonal businesses particularly hard. Many are staffed by part-time or temporary workers (like students) working a few shifts a week. It would be a significant financial and administrative burden for these businesses to administer paid sick leave to so many part-time and temporary workers.
  • Superstorm Sandy has already had a negative effect on the bottom lines of thousands of seasonal businesses. Lawmakers should be mindful not to add to the financial devastation these businesses have encountered.
  • No business wants to lose a good worker. So, when companies can afford to provide paid sick leave, they typically will. For those who cannot afford to do so, a paid sick leave mandate will have a financially chilling effect on their business and their employees.
  • This is just another mandate piled on top of a possible minimum wage increase, federal healthcare reform and higher payroll taxes. How much more can small businesses take?
  • In this economy, lawmakers should focus on creating more jobs, not making it harder for private-sector employers to hire people and meet their payrolls by placing more and more financial requirements upon them.
  • A paid sick leave mandate would punish businesses that already provide paid sick leave to their employees by imposing a one-size-fits-all approach. Businesses have always been able to tailor their benefits and to customize their policies to meet individual worker needs. Sick leave mandates take those abilities away.
  • Creating a legal entitlement to paid sick leave carries with it government regulations, more paperwork and new legal liabilities for businesses that are already voluntarily offering this benefit to workers.
  • Rather than a government mandate, legislators should look for ways to encourage businesses to provide paid time off, such as economic incentives.
  • A paid sick leave mandate would be just one more law on the list of laws that have given New Jersey its anti-business reputation at a time when the state is ramping up efforts to attract new companies and the jobs they provide.

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