NFIB helped stop wage and sick leave mandates that would have increased financial pressure on small businesses.
Small business has scored some important victories midway through the 2022 legislative session, NFIB State Director Dawn McVea said.
Since the legislature gaveled into session on March 14, NFIB has helped defeat:
■ Proposals to create a state minimum wage and raise it to $12 per hour. NFIB argued that many small businesses already pay well above minimum wage and that this arbitrary wage increase will only hurt the very people it’s supposedly designed to help when owners have to make tough choices about how to make the bottom line work.
■ A plan to expand equal pay laws that would create a new avenue for employees to sue employers. NFIB argued that equal pay is the law and employees should not experience retribution for discussing wages, but that expanding the law only opens up frivolous claims that employers just don’t have the time or resources to deal with.
■ A mandate that businesses with 5 or more employees offer paid sick leave and those with 5 of fewer offer unpaid sick leave. NFIB argued that this one size fits all government mandate would take away the ability of an owner to offer benefits that worked for their business model.
■ A proposed ban on the use of plastic bags and fine businesses that did. NFIB argued that supply chain shortages and the cost of doing business are already at all-time highs. Finding paper bags and the cost would be detrimental to the ability of an owner to keep their doors open. Instead, we support measures aimed at litter education and programs like Love the Boot to promote volunteerism in local communities to clean up their streets.
■ A required fingerprint background checks on any costumed employees who interact with children. While the bill was well-intended, it created a slew of unintended consequences and opened employers up to frivolous lawsuits on top of costing them more time and money.
But our work isn’t done. In the coming weeks, NFIB will work on your behalf to pass:
■ $500 million in recovery funding to the Unemployment Trust Fund to backfill it to pre-pandemic levels and avoid payroll tax increases on employers.
■ The Louisiana Fuel Choice Act, which would prohibit any local government from setting energy use requirements by a business when building or renovating their premises. This is an important policy to ensure rouge local governments do not pass regulations dictating what type of energy you use.
■ Streamlined Sales Tax Collection that will put the option back on the ballot for voters this fall to move Louisiana into the 21st century and put our homegrown businesses on equal footing with large, out of state retailers when it comes to collecting and remitting sales tax on behalf of the state and local government.
■ Funding for broadband deployment across the state to give greater internet access to business owners, especially in the rural areas.
■ Tougher penalties for Organized Retail Crime where simple robbery involves taking of anything of value when three or more people are involved in the intimidation of the store clerk. This is a proactive step in public policy to avoid the horrific “smash and grab” scenes seen in other states.
■ Stricter requirements for the Workforce Commission to weed out unemployment compensation fraud via a new program designed to incorporate technology and use of databases in state agencies so they better communicate. Routing out fraud in UI is a priority issue to ensure the solvency of the trust fund to protect workers who need it and protect employers from higher taxes.