Small Business Opposes Paid Family & Medical Leave

Date: June 26, 2017

News Release--Notification to legislators cites litany of reasons troubling Main Street

Contact: Patrick Connor, NFIB/Washington State Director, [email protected]
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, [email protected]

OLYMPIA, Wash., June 26, 2017—In a notification sent to Washington state legislators today, the representative group for small-business owners said a vote for a paid family and medical leave mandate would be a vote to further harm Main Street, mom-and-pop firms, and be recorded as such for the purpose of tallying small-business voting records.

The ’Priority Vote’ memorandum details numerous problems the National Federation of Independent Business has with legislation being considered this week that would institute a new paid leave mandate. Everything from the state’s poor track record overseeing insurance programs to the gratuitous reasons someone could ask for paid leave, including high pollen counts and morning sickness, is outlined in a lengthy bill of opposition.

“I have good news for anyone who thinks our state government needs to get involved with paid leave laws,” said Patrick Connor, NFIB’s Washington state director. “The vast majority of businesses already offer paid or unpaid time off, and for any reason the employee chooses: sickness, care for a family member, parental duties, personal or family member victim of domestic violence, etc. Also, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave.”

Washington state involving itself in the issue would do more harm than good, according to Connor. As NFIB continues to point out, unlike the heads of corporations, small-business owners know personally each of their employees and their families, and most offer paid time off on a case-by-case basis, providing the employee what he or she needs in a way the business can afford. Mandatory paid leave would only impose unnecessary limitations on these businesses. Such initiatives assume one size fits all. In the small-business world, what works in one company could be detrimental for the next. The rigid nature of mandated paid leave often has a negative impact on employee morale.

The detailed list of reasons for NFIB/Washington’s opposition to a state mandate can be read here.


For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.

National Federation of Independent Business/Washington
711 Capitol Way South, Suite 505
Olympia, WA 98501
Twitter: @NFIB_WA

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