Mandatory Paid Sick Leave in Iowa?

A bill in the Iowa Senate could require all businesses to provide paid sick leave to their employees.  My gut tells me many small businesses cannot afford to provide paid sick leave.

What do you think? 

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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Mike Colwell - February 17, 2010 8:37 AM

You are right. Most small businesses cannot afford this. There is a paradox in the desire by the government to see more business start but to continue to promote new laws that make stall the process.

Jeff Gordon - February 21, 2010 1:22 PM

Firstly, I'm glad that our laws are not based on gut feelings, because otherwise I imagine this type of legislation would never be proposed. From statistics that I've read, it actually costs employers (even small businesses) more money when employees show up sick and infect other employees - if I recall, a sick employee on average can infect 1.8 of 10 employees/customers they come into contact with. If we're going to go back to rhetoric, I imagine an ill employee is going to be much less productive in any case. In any case, this is going to be a great benefit to Iowa as a whole, and will positively benefit both employers and workers, if for no other reason than to retain talent and keep workers healthy. This will also address holes in current FMLA law and assist with future pandemics such as the H1N1 virus - the CDC recommended that those infected with H1N1 stay home, but the spread continued because of thinking like the above and employees being scared of losing their jobs or losing out on a week of pay for not showing up to work.

Rush Nigut - February 21, 2010 3:45 PM

Jeff,

Thanks for your comment. I fail to see how MANDATORY paid sick leave is the answer to retaining talent and keeping workers healthy. In my view, mandatory wellness programs would provide far better opportunities to retain talent and keep workers healthly.

I agree that employees should not fear losing their job or feel compelled to come to work when they are sick. My problem is with the mandatory nature of the legislation. Forcing all businesses to provide such benefits will do nothing to create a business and employee friendly environment in Iowa. If businesses leave Iowa or choose to start up in other states, what will happen to the talent then? It will leave too.

Rush

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