BOSTON (June 13, 2017): The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) submitted testimony today to the Joint Committees on Labor and Workforce Development regarding the legislature’s latest push to mandate an employer funded Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance program.
“The bills before the legislature proposing a mandatory employer paid family and medical leave insurance program are, to put it simply, fraught with issues. Massachusetts is already a high-cost state for small businesses due to highest in the nation energy costs, taxes, unemployment insurance, health insurance premiums, and paid sick leave benefits. The last thing the small business community needs is yet another mandate to make it more expensive to stay in business,” according to NFIB Massachusetts Director, Christopher Carlozzi. “A mandated family leave program will significantly impact the productivity and operations of a small business, one employee on family leave would require the average-sized NFIB member business (with five employees) to operate without 20 percent of their total workforce for up to half of a year.”
Testimony was heard today on House Bill Nos. 2172, 3134 and Senate Bill No. 1048. The proposals would mandate that Massachusetts employers fund a paid family and medical leave insurance program for a workers’ own illness or to care for various family members. NFIB, the state’s leading small business advocacy group, adamantly opposed the bills.
“A new state mandate that requires specific employee benefits, like paid family leave, will restrict the flexibility of employers to provide the wages and benefits that their workers want, and that the business can afford. If employers are required to take money out of the weekly paycheck for family leave, there are fewer resources available for other optional benefits such as health insurance, retirement programs, or wage increases,” continued Carlozzi. “Not to mention that several current laws, such as the sick leave law, the small necessities act, and others already cover many personal issues for workers. These proposals are an economically dangerous imposition on Massachusetts small businesses that will ultimately lead to fewer jobs created if it becomes law.”