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A Decision between Employers and Employees

SB 7 and SB 12 expand the type of employees who receive annual paid sick leave, broadens the definition of family members for leave purposes, increases the rate at which leave is accrued, and broadens the way leave days can be used. 

As Governor Lamont told the CT Mirror when he first ran for governor, “we deal with sick leave just fine at the small-business level where I live,” indicating skepticism towards governmental intervention by stating, “I’m not sure I need the government stepping in and putting another mandate on businesses like mine.” 

Paid sick leave is a great benefit to workers in Connecticut, and most employers voluntarily offer this benefit.  Employers that offer this benefit may very well enjoy a better relationship with their employees, and hopefully reap the benefit of a more productive and stable business -- a mutually beneficial exchange. 

SB 7, SB 12, and HB 5166 present a significant expansion of state government intervention into this mutual beneficial exchange which will have negative consequences for the Connecticut economy. Frank Ricci's testimony on the bills before the Labor and Public Employees Committee speaks volumes: 

"These bills from the Governor’s office and the Labor Committee are completely one-sided. Government must balance workers’ interests with those of taxpayers, citizens, and job creators — leaving it to labor organizations to serve as workers’ advocates. It’s worth noting that the National Labor Relations Act already provides private employees robust organizing rights to workers in our state. We have witnessed local organizing drives at Starbucks, resulting in a new unionized workforce where employees can bargain with their employer. 

Private negotiations allow workers and job creators alike to work out mutually agreeable solutions to their issues. By contrast, through these bills, state government is imposing mandates without benefit of specialized knowledge or experience, acting as employees’ partisans without regard for the needs of the Connecticut economy or small business. 

Mandating more paid sick days will increase the costs of doing business, which is likely to be passed on both to consumers in the form of higher prices and to employees in the form of reduced benefits or wages. It could also lead to negative economic consequences such as job losses, reduced investment, and decreased competitiveness. It will certainly deter any new company from deciding to locate in Connecticut. 

What’s more, it presumes that employees prefer expanded benefits to more take-home pay. Isn’t it possible that many people would prefer higher salaries over added benefits? And shouldn’t the state allow employees to make these decisions for themselves? 

Such arbitrary regulations create inequities in the employee/employer relationship that can result in job cuts, barriers to growth and erosion of the state’s tax bases. For Connecticut to flourish, our small businesses must be able to prosper and compete with the big chains that can better absorb such expensive new regulations.” 

Submit testimony here

To find out more on this topic and other legislation currently before the General Assembly, please visit our Take Action page. 

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