Small Biz Voter Brief: Leave Policies

Date: September 21, 2016

Small business owners know their employees needs and work with them

For Immediate
Andrew Wimer, 202-314-2073 or 703-298-5938 (cell)
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Washington, DC (September 21, 2016) – Small employers know that their employees are among their most
important assets. Without workers to get the job done, there is no revenue to
keep the business going. Small business owners want to preserve flexibility in
paid leave programs to ensure they can serve their customers reliably and on

The National Federation of Independent
Business (NFIB) opposes state and federal leave policies that would create new
regulations and costs for employers. Broadly written mandates fail to reflect
the wide diversity of leave practices used by small business owners.

NFIB published research earlier this year showing that about
three-fourths of small businesses currently offer paid leave. Of these
businesses, two-thirds of them offer two weeks or more.

Importantly, most small employers have very
flexible leave policies. Ninety percent of those offering paid sick leave allow
workers to use that time to take care of a sick child or relative. Only around
a quarter of those offering paid sick leave require employees to provide a
doctor’s note. Roughly eight percent, have a formal policy regarding employees
who request time off for a serious illness in the family.  Eighty-six
percent handle such requests on a case-by-case basis.

New mandates from the government could
complicate these relationships making it harder for employers to be flexible
with leave policies. Requirements to categorize leave into family leave and
sick leave could cut into workers vacation time or prevent small business
owners from being able to make exceptions that they see fit.

Critically, some mandates could have a direct
cost on employers leading to losses in jobs and productivity. On a separate study, NFIB found that one
federal proposal, the Healthy Families Act, could cost 430,000 jobs nationwide.
The real economic output lost to this policy could top $652 billion.



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