The one thing legislators should know when they resume paid-leave debate, tomorrow
LINCOLN, Neb., Jan. 20, 2020—Nebraska senators will resume debate on a paid sick and safe leave proposal when they return to the Capitol, tomorrow, January 21, and there’s one thing the state’s leading small-business association wants them to know: 73% of small-business owners already offer paid time off, according to a nationwide poll.
SIDE NOTE TO EDITORS—Did you know you have a correspondent at the Capitol covering the most important part of every economy’s engine: Small Business. At the end of every legislative week, NFIB Nebraska State Director Bob Hallstrom summarizes the progress of legislation helpful or harmful to small business. On Friday afternoon or Saturday, his report to NFIB’s state leadership council is posted on the NFIB Nebraska webpage, www.nfib.com/nebraska and then tweeted from NFIB Nebraska’s Twitter account @NFIB_NE. Be sure and follow us on our webpage and Twitter, or, if you’d like a special email notification of the postings, let our senior media manager know at [email protected].
“LB305 requires employers with four or more employees to provide employees with access to paid sick and safe leave. Employees shall accrue a minimum of one hour of paid sick and safe time for every thirty hours worked,” according to the Statement of Intent issued by Sen. Sue Crawford, the legislative bill’s author.
But Bob Hallstrom, Nebraska state director for NFIB, warned of a serious peril in Crawford’s proposal. “The four-employee threshold is a dangerously low one. Most paid leave proposals in other states have a much higher employee count, which would still burden small-business owners immensely, but LB 305 would apply to employers with four or more full- or part-time employees, making it more onerous. The most reassuring thing to know in any and all debate about paid leave is that 73% of small businesses already offer paid time off for a variety of reasons. Time off, it needs to be stressed, is negotiated between employee and employer for the mutual benefit of both. Strapping a one-size-fits-all straight-jacket on employers will severely stunt hiring, employee compensation, and business expansion. You can never collect a salary and benefits from a job you don’t have.”
Three other points senators need to know, according to Hallstrom, are:
- Big businesses and huge corporations have full-time legal, accounting, and human resource departments to deal with local, state, and federal rules and regulations. Small businesses do not.
- Employee replacement costs can be a big issue for small-business owners when an employee goes on paid leave.
- A worker taking extended time off leaves a hole that must be filled by other staff working overtime or by finding, hiring, and training a new temporary employee as a replacement – both of which are direct costs to the business.
“The federal Family Medical Leave Act rightly exempts business with fewer than 50 employees because its creators knew the negatively consequential effects making small businesses also comply would have,” said Hallstrom. “LB 305’s application to employers with four or more full- or part-time employees would devastate the Main Streets of Nebraska. It should be rejected for all the right reasons.”
For more information on how devastating paid leave could be, the Research Foundation of NFIB took a detailed look at a federal proposal, using sophisticated BSIM modeling (Business Size Insight Module). State paid-leave mandates on top of federal ones only exacerbate the already difficult jobs small-business owners have in keeping their doors open and Washingtonians employed.
Infographic: The Big Burden of Mandated Paid Leave
For more than 76 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.
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