A View from Here

Bill's Sisson's weekly Trade Only blog

Sick days quandary

I just received my newsletter from the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association and my eye went to a story about a difference of opinion regarding the allowable number of paid sick days.

According to the story, a group known as Ohioans for Healthy Families submitted a proposal, requiring businesses with at least 25 employees to provide each with seven paid sick days per year. Part-time workers would be allocated paid sick days proportional to their hours worked. The group garnered 154,693 signatures.

The proposal did not pass muster in the state legislature. So the group is trying to collect an additional 120,683 signatures by Aug. 6 to place the issue on the ballot for the November elections.

Opponents of the initiative including the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, argue this would cause businesses to leave Ohio at a time when the state’s economy is already suffering.

This story led me to do some additional research and I found a site called paidfamilyleave.org. There, I learned that San Francisco, in 2006, became the first  locality in the nation to guarantee paid sick days for all its workers.  Since then, legislators  in more than a dozen states as well as on Capitol Hill will advocate for paid sick days initiatives in 2008. 

Has your business become ill by such legislation? Do tell us about your experiences.

We welcome your comments.

Lois Caliri


8 comments on “Sick days quandary

  1. JB McArthur

    Do those same laws require some kind of proof of being sick or can the employee just call in and “fake it”? Without a doctors note or some kind of proof the person was really sick, the state is essentially giving everyone 7 days of paid vacation on top of any paid vacation the employer may already provide. With or without proof, times are hard enough. We don’t need to be forced to give everyone 7 days of paid vacation…umm, I mean “sick days”.

  2. Shine

    We are under no such law, for now anyway. The cost of this type of legislation makes businesses subject to it less competitive. The cost either hits the business in higher overhead, or lowered margins, or both. In the log run the business cannot compete and the job goes overseas to a place where employers are not forced to pay employees when they are not working. This is economics 101, unfortunately socialist politics works better in places like SanFran. Eventually they will wake up and move back to a more open and fair labor market (It has only taken Western European countries like france 25 or so years to get sick of the high unemployment and stagnant growth caused by these policies).

    Personally, i am worried that one day “right to work” may no longer be the law in our State. I would relocate our business very quickly if this happens.

  3. Michael Esposito, CMM


    Our company used to provide sick days to our full-time employees. Employees were allowed to roll over sick days into future years. I believe, since you are “giving” an employee sick days, they would be foolish not to use the benefit, but the only way to use the benefit is to be sick, or say you’re sick. Since we generally don’t plan to be sick, the system put the employee it the position to tell a non-truth in order to received the benefit you have given them. Crazy.

    We have abandoned all sick, vacation, holiday and personal days by providing XX number of Paid Days Off (PTO). PTO is accrued at a given rate each pay period, with a capped number of hours carried over year-to-year. I believe it is a good system for both the employee and the employer; it encourages time off, with or without a reason, while encouraging prior planning.

    Thank you for listening.

  4. Grant Westerson

    Connecticut’s legislature had a bill this session that would have mandated 6 1/2 days of paid leave for all employees in 50 or more employee businesses. Originally is was for businesses of 25 employees but the backlash prompted to proponent to change it quickly. It did not pass, not because of the issue but due to the legislatures incompetance in letting many issues die on the vine.

    Paid leave is something many businesses offer and it certainly is good for the employees but that decision should be left up to the employer to make. Benefits are like payroll. They are offered by the employer and if sufficient, the employee signs on. This paid leave issue is nothing more than an unfunded mandate, something the legislators gripe about Washington, DC doing all the time. The subject of an employee deciding at the last minute to not go to work can leave a company well in the lurch.

    Let businesses establish what their payroll and benefits are (unless the government is willing to pay for them)

  5. Dixie Herendeen

    We offer 6 paid sick days yearly, 1/2 day for each month. They have to accumulate these for each month they work. We do not offer it to part time people. We have been doing this for years. Some employees think we should offer some of the days as personal days also. We haven’t decided on this yet. (We have 17 employees)

  6. joe michalski

    Years ago I worked for a co. which gave their employees 5 sick days/year. If you did not use them, you receiced a check for the unused sick days after the first of the year. The beginnig of the next year, you had another 5 sick days. NOT many employees used all there sick days.

  7. Ken

    Bad business in Buckeyeland. The Ohio for Healthy Families manditory sick day initiative is a cleverly designed proposal to turn out liberal voters for the Presidential election. Backed by the unions and liberal interests, this proposal seeks to catch the tail winds of Obama voters.
    While, Ohio struggles to regain ground on the loss of manufacturing jobs, this new sick day requirement would have a negative effects on businesses already suffering from an economic downturn and would have an impact on new business looking to relocate in the Buckeye State.

  8. Bob Crawford

    I think we should all stay home and let the rest of the world take over our economy. Soon the Liberals will be able to stay home every day, what a concept!
    God bless America

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