Annie Spilman, NFIB’s Texas state legislative director, recently took part in a panel discussion on “The Cost and Consequences of Mandating Paid Sick Leave.” The discussion was hosted by the Austin-based Texas Public Policy Foundation. NFIB recently joined TPPF and other groups in challenging the City of Austin’s sick-leave ordinance in court.
Spilman said small-business owners understand the challenges of finding and keeping good employees and offer the highest wages and best benefits packages they can afford.
“So, when the government mandates that you should offer something as part of your employee benefits package … it’s Economics 101,” Spilman said. “If they can’t afford it, they’re going to have to cut back in other areas. ‘Do I cut positions? Do I cut hours? Now, do I have to take away their vacation time, or maybe not reimburse them to get insurance, because if I don’t comply with this mandate, I’m going to be fined, penalized.’ Potentially, there’s some sort of legal action against the employer, and then, they’re labeled a bad employer. So, it’s a tough decision to make.
“It does have strong implications, especially on the small-business community, because regulations alone right now cost small-business owners over $12,000 per employee per year, and that’s not adding on the mandates (like paid sick leave) they’re having to comply with,” Spilman said.
Other panelists included Tina Grider-Cannon, vice president of government relations with the Austin Chamber of Commerce; Don “Skeeter” Miller, owner and president of The County Line Restaurant; and 47th District state Rep. Paul D. Workman (Austin).
Watch the TPPF’s replay of the panel discussion below. (The discussion starts at about the 21-minute mark.)