Human Resources News & Insights

Will Obama make paid sick days mandatory?

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives held a hearing on a bill that would make offering paid sick leave mandatory for employers.

If passed, the Healthy Families Act (HFA) would require any company with 15 or more employees to offer full-time workers seven paid sick days a year. Part-time employees would get a prorated amount based on how much they work.

Like the FMLA, the HFA would let employees take time to care for themselves or a family member. The leave would be legally protected — meaning employees could sue if they feel they’ve been retaliated against for using it.

The HFA is less strict than the FMLA, however. “Family member” includes any blood relative and anyone whose relationship with the employee is “the equivalent of a family relationship.” Any physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition could result in a protected absence.

What about current paid leave policies?

The bill says employers won’t need to change anything if they already give employees sick leave that’s at least equivalent to what’s required by HFA. But employers would be prohibited from eliminating leave they already offer in an attempt to offset the mandatory sick days.

That means companies won’t be able to reduce vacation time to offset the costs of additional sick time. And some experts interpet the provision to mean companies offering a general PTO bank would need to add seven sick days in addition to what’s already available.

What to expect

Attorney Mike Aitken, speaking at a recent Society for Human Resources Management conference in Washington, D.C., said he expects Congress to take a vote on the bill this spring.

The HFA was introduced in the Senate a few years ago and failed to move. But that was before President Obama — a vocal supporter of the bill — and an increased Congressional Democrat majority arrived in Washington.

So far, no states have made sick leave mandatory — measures have failed in California, Ohio, New Jersey and Washington. Three cities — San Francisco, Milwaukee and Washington, D.C. — have passed mandatory sick leave laws.

We’ll keep you posted on the HFA.

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  • Brian

    I fail to see how they would force a company like ours, who gives PTO banks, to add an additional 7 days of sick time. Surely, they would allow companies to alter their PTO/vacation/sick day structure.

  • Brian

    Sam, do you have any information on who sponsored the bill or the bill #?

  • Ed

    This will force us to let a couple of employees go – we cannot afford this.

    What safe guards do we have against fraud and abuse – (something the government knows nothing about)?

  • Mike

    You’ve got to be kidding me. At this rate, France & Germany will have nothing on us regarding time off. Is this a “use it or lose it” deal? If so, we know those days will be taken. Small businesses can’t afford this without increasing prices on products, at a time when the market is forcing various prices downward.

  • Jenni

    This is an excellent idea and will help prevent employees being there in body but not in mind and spreading their germs to the rest of the office. This should improve productivity because people get better faster and don’t spend as much time worrying about sick kids.

    As for how to prevent fraud and abuse? How about we do our jobs as HR people!

  • Sharon

    This will become an entitlement just like all other PTO and employees will use it whether they need it or not causing an undue burden on businesses. I agree with Ed.

  • Mary

    If this law passes we have one more nail in our coffin. The current adminstration is murdering capitalism the foundation our country was built on and the reason so many immigrants entered our shores. We are killing the freedom of choice and prosperity for our children and grandchildren. I am certainly glad my immigrant great-grandparents aren’t here to see our demise.

  • At a time when many companies are bidding jobs at less than 1% profit against others who are bidding below costs, this would raise our labor burden to a point where we would definately have to eliminate some employees. In the construction industry, emplyees who do not get paid sick time have no problem not showing up for work because of a ‘bad beer’ night. Give them seven days PAID sick leave and your work force is cut even more and the employer is stuck footing the bill. How much more can be taken!

  • William

    Will have to cut vacation time down from 10 days to 3. That way we will have the same cost structure going forward and we can stay in business. Otherwise will have to close the doors.

  • Jim

    Jim says:
    Under the new administration we will soon be changing our name from the United States of America to the Socialist States of America!!

  • Debbie

    Lets put a bill together allowing for a required number of paid work days. It seems like to me that our country is so focused on 1) not working and 2) getting paid for not working. Goodness, how does one pay for all of this time off? Look at Ford, GM and Chrysler that is what they have, then look at the shape they are in. Tax payers paying for time off and retirees.

  • judging from the current wording it looks like we will have to add 7 sick days to our already generous PTO bank, since our policy does not clearly define sick days from vacation days, even though sick days were built in to the number of days awarded.
    Mr. Obama and congress should look at the financial impact this will have on all employers…how much can we give in this financial climate? This bill should stay on the back burner until the country is well on its way to recovery.

  • Ed, if you can’t afford to be fully staffed and pay out sick days, maybe you need to rethink your business plan. Does it really make sense to have sick employees coming to work and making everyone else sick too. HFA is going to be great for the U.SA.

  • Ed

    William –

    Did you miss the great part about wording the bill to force you to NOT change other benefits –

    The democrats (Socialists) – really want to create a culture of dependance.

  • Marti Hopper

    I agree that small businesses will be hit hard by this law. Some may have to lay off employees because they can’t bear the burden. But regarding abuse of the law, some may abuse it, but honest, dedicated employees will not. My husband retired recently from his position as a calculus teacher in a public school system that allows sick days to be accumulated to a max of 250 days. He had accumulated the max. He often went to work not well because he wouldn’t be able to have his kids ready for their AP test if he was out. And that is the story for many teaachers at his school.

  • Jenni

    I guess my perspective is from working overseas and seeing paid sick leave work. Employees are much more productive when they’re not just taking up space and infecting each other. Face time does not equal productivity.

  • Tracy

    I wonder what will happen to any document requirements.? We require an employee to bring in proof from the doctor in order to get paid for the first sick day they are out (subsequent days are paid – the first day requirement deters from those who just want the day off). If the possible new paid sick time does not allow us to have our current policy, I am 90% sure we will suffer from abused paid sick days. That’s the next HR headache. It’s difficult for the employers to make it through this reccession with all of the new costly laws we are hit with. Just my opinion…..

  • Beatty

    I hope if they do this, they allow us to simply separate our current PTO hours. The whole purpose we changed to one PTO bank was so employees would not have to lie when they need time off from work. A plan like this would almost certainly encourage abuse.

  • Betty

    I agree with Debbie – whatever to “an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay”. That concept is fast becoming obsolete.

  • Judy

    This bill will not affect the agency I work for as we already offer more paid sick days. For a relatively small company (34 people) we offer a very generous time off benefit: 12 paid sick days a year that are never lost; 15 paid vacation days and 4 paid personal days. And management encourages people to take their vacation and personal days.

    While I can certainly understand the burden this places on small business, I also feel that it is unconscionable for truly sick people to be faced with the choice of either going to work or not getting paid.

    As for those that “cheat” and are not sick – I’m betting they would find a way to do so no matter what. We require staff to bring in a doctor’s note if they are out more than 3 days or if they are out sick before or after a paid holiday. And while I know that Doctors are willing to write these notes no matter what, at least the employee is forced to see the Doctor. Imperfect? I’m sure it is but it is the best we could do. I remember years (and years) ago, when I was interviewing for my first job – one interviewer told me that they routinely call employees out sick to be sure they were home. She also wanted to know if I was married or interested in starting a family soon as she didn’t want to go through the trouble of hiring someone who might be getting pregnant in the near future! Even my just out of school need to get a job self decided this was NOT the job for me.

  • Connie

    As the HR rep for an Assembly plant – I can tell you that it will definitely increase the number of absences. Small company, non-union, but we rely on attendance for our products to be produced in a timely manner.

  • DD

    Yea Jenni…we all know how productive they are overseas. America was built and became the great nation it is on the backs of hard working people who were creative, innovative and reliable. Why are we so intent on rewarding laziness and abuse?

  • Roger Zuch

    When we created our PTO Plan to take effect this year, we folded our 5 day sick leave policy into our existing vacation accrual to create the employees PTO bank. With proof of that on record we would assume that we would only have to add 2 more days to meet this requirement should it pass. Is that a reasonable assumption ?

  • Ed

    Because –

    Europe is a wonderful Utopia and an example for the entire world. (TIC)

  • Dawn

    I think that is a GREAT idea !! Too many employees (especially those working low end jobs without benefits) drag their sick butts into work because they have no sick time and just cannot afford to loose a days’ pay. One days’ pay could be the difference between buying food and paying rent.

  • mike

    Hey Jenni: If you like “overseas” so well, why are you here? Our HR “JOB” is to help run a company for profit, not to be a lackey for the Federal Government. If they keep giving me instructions on everything I have to do on a daily basis, I’m going to seek one of those Pensions (unfunded) they have.

  • Darren

    This is one of those things that sounds nice on the surface, and I’m sure will be politically popular with a significant audience, but that likely has far-reaching negative implications that haven’t been fully thought out by policy makers.

    Take for instance our company (Medicaid services) – the government basically dictates what we can / can’t pay for the services rendered by part-time employees. These employees are already not paid enough based on the reimbursement rate the government has established, and now the government wants to introduce greater costs through mandatory sick time? I can’t raise prices; they’re non-negotiable. The only option I’m left with is to reduce wages, or force lay-offs on an already super-streamlined organization to afford this?

    Is this what was meant by “change”?

  • Barbara

    In a perfect world where people are all honest and moral this would be lovely. But lets face it. This is definitely not a perfect world. It will most assuredly be abused.

  • Brian

    I will say this. There ARE low paying jobs out there that do not allow for any sick time. How would you like for the cook at your favorite restaurant to come to work sick because he can’t afford to take time off? Or the person at daycare responsible for your child?

    I just don’t think they should exclude PTO days. Also, I’d like to see this number go to about four or five days.

  • B

    This will create another shell game. Employers billed time off expenses into wages. Employees will see paycuts or more likely; employees will not get wage increases until the sick time is absorbed.

  • Dawn

    DITTO ! Brian

  • Wow.. why don’t we just go with the French system… 35 hour weeks… 6-7 weeks vacation… 4 weeks legal holidays… etc.

  • Amy

    If a company doesn’t already have sick leave in their policy, but provides their employees with two weeks vacation, do they now need to give the additional 7 days sick leave? They cannot change their vacation policy that’s already in place?

  • I can not believe the pressure that has been put on employers since this administration began. All we heard is how this administration is going to help the small businesses, but all I’ve seen is how much additional costs the small business employer is expected to put out. COBRA help for the employee that has been laid off is another cost paid by the employer, and only at the end of the year can it be deducted from your tax bill. Well, I hate to inform you Washington know-it-alls–the business has to survive until the end of the year to be able to take any tax deduction. And I do agree, this forced sick day pay will only reward the abusers for not being at work, and the honest employees will have to keep the production moving to meet the schedules. Yes, I’m angry!! Walk in our shoes for a little while, and you’ll understand why!!

  • Elizabeth

    I agree with Brian – cut the number to 5. We don’t have to be socialists or people “intent on rewarding laziness and abuse” just because we want people with minimum wage or barely making it jobs to have some benefits. A person taking 2 days off to feel better and come back to work is certainly more productive than the one who doesn’t take the time off then their illness escalates and they’re off work for 2 weeks. Every law that benefits employees is not a move toward socialism; it may be a move more toward equality instead of them that have just getting more and more.

  • MC

    Can anyone verify if this is “use it or loose it”? Or when or where can we find out the details on this, another “punish employer” tactic?

    We have already a 5 paid sick days for occasional illness and we have another two floater/personal days. If this becomes laws, I hope we are able to eliminate the floater and delay the additional vacation days (additional vacation on years of service). Would also like to find out if there are additional hand-cuffs on the employer, such as can employer asks for proof such as doctor visit receipt/letter.

    Many of you said it right, government cannot just keep on adding “costs” to business. Every week, we the HR get on the news and wonder “What now!”

  • Ed

    Dawn –

    Do you not see the impact of paid time off on your company’s P&Ls. That “One” day you speak about to afford food or whatever is up to seven days per employee that could be the costs that drives one more employee out the.

    Now that one day with no pay has become no job!

  • Rachael

    This is another socialist program created by the Obama administration. Pretty soon they will be telling employers who they can do business with! In NJ we currently have to follow the FMLA, the NJ Family Leave Act and now Family Leave Insurance which allows paid time off for the care of sick family members. When does it end? I certainly plan on writing my representatives and letting them know!!! If we don’t say something now, then we can’t complain about it when it passes.

  • Ed

    Jason –

    We are a staffing agency with several thousand employees – we have contracts with our clients and we have very small margins.

    Can you tell me how easy or cheap it will be to monitor and administer the prorated sick time earned by several thousand part-time and temporary employees? Go ahead – venture a guess?

  • mike

    Don’t worry about it, Ed. The Feds will bail you out (with YOUR tax money)

  • Tom Anderson

    To all HR colleagues who voted for Obama and “change”…wouldn’t you like to have a do over? This topics’ change as well as COBRA and EFCA is ludicrous!

  • Mary

    Yes, I agree this will be one more nail for the coffin. Businesses are struggling all over and having mandatory paid sick leave will just help close the door for many businesses. It’s hard to believe in such a short amount of time Obama has been in office how fast he’s thinking he’s helping business but really is killing us.

    Maybe WE should ask for stimulus money and give our employee’s $100,000 bonuses………..

  • I see two sides to this, as an employee great, (wait, because of the number of people we have laid off I still have last years unused vacation time) as the plan adminstrator I know we would have to lay off more people or cut out all health care from the company. This is very two sided and why 7 days when vacation is by week. One of the companies I worked for had a plan and even full time staff earned time by the number of hours worked for vacation and for sick time.
    I can see here my drinkers would use the days the first seven mondays they are out.


    I guess all of you guys voted for McCain…

  • Susan

    In many states, such as Florida, there is no requirement for a company to provide paid vacations. The U.S. Labor Law also does not require any company to provide paid vacations. If this law passes and employers cannot adjust existing paid leave to offset an additional 7 sick days, then isn’t the government now telling us that if you have existing leave policies, they are now mandatory? If an employer can’t reduce the number of paid vacation or PTO days, or eliminate them altogether, that’s the way I see it – mandatory. At this time of financial crisis that many small businesses are facing, besides lay-offs, many companies are cutting benefits as well just to make ends meet and still keep the doors open. What about those small companies that can’t even afford to give their employees paid time off? I don’t want to hear about fat cat business owners who get rich off their employees’ sweat. I’m talking about the truly struggling small business owner and believe me, there are plenty of them. Just take a look around in your own city or town at some of the independent small businesses, such as light manufacturing, small construction-related and service-type companies, restaurants, the list goes on.
    I understand that he is trying to help the working poor but I don’t understand how he thinks employers are going to pay for it. The working poor will become poorer with no job. Once again we have a president that really has no clue how small business really works.
    I just had a thought – will businesses that have moved their operations overseas (for lower wages) but are still based in the U.S. have to provide their overseas employees with 7 paid sick days too?

  • Donna

    When will the gravy train end?
    This will become a social/economic/political battleground that will put many small and mid-sized companies out of business. Those same companies who were the backbone of America, will be obsolete because they won’t be “bailed out”.

  • Ed

    Jason –

    Care to venture a guess?

  • Frances

    Business is not a social service. Yes, there are paid positions with few benefits. So? Learn more or change jobs. If you have few skills you need to learn more to support yourself. This stupid piece of legislation assumes no one will ever change their job and that employers are all wealthy. Obama and his gang are destroying individualism in this country. They want us all to be equally needy and reliant on the all powerful state. If anyone wants that sort of lie, they can move to Cuba or any other socialist “paradise”. Fight these powermongers-call or write your Congressional representatives and tell them to vote against it!

  • Kate

    We already allow unlimited sick days each year – they do get points, but only one point per illness. Last year I did an anaylsis to see how abused it was and only 10% of the workforce used more than 5 days – most went to STD in this case and about 25% took a couple days. A doctors note is required for pay so there may be more of an issue, but our attendance rate is very high so I don’t think that is the case.
    My whole point is this will now allow my employees an extra 7 days off with pay when 65% are currently taking NONE! Our vacation policy is already generous. Why can’t they just mandate how much PTO you get everywhere and be done with it. You are penalizing those who are already giving way more than others.
    Did anyone consider if a doctors note will be required to claim it? It’s already hard enough to get into to see a doctor on the day you are sick – strain the already strained medical and insurance system. I think Obama needs a job in the business world to understand all this! He is clueless!!!!

  • Kim

    I think if this is going to happen, something more in the line of 3 or 4 sick days is more realistic.

    Under our current policies, we give 3 personal/sick days meant for Unscheduled Absences. Any more than that begins a 5-step disciplinary process. 7 unscheduled absences (not FMLA of course) within a calendar year would almost have an employee terminated for excessive absenteeism. We find 3 to be a reasonable number of allowable absences, in fact most of our employees do not use the 3 days they are given and get the time paid out at the end of the year. 7 just sounds like too high a number to me. If this changes, not only would we have to pay out 7 sick days, it sounds like we would need to completely revamp our attendance disciplinary structure.

    Also, what will be the required documentation? Anything? The “bad beer night” comment strikes me as very realistic. In fact, this type of abuse from less than 5% of the employees is why we had to develop a strict attendance policy in the first place.

    Do the lawmakers sponsoring the bill start with a high number, knowing they are going to need to compromise? I hope so.

  • I along with Ed am with staffing company, I would like to know how this will come into play with our temporary employees, who may only be on assignment for 6 months, will they be given the seven sick days as well? This will kill our profit, which is very little.

  • Mike

    Geez, are people really that against their employees? You’d think that every employee in America was out to lie, cheat and steal their way to an extra day of fun in the sun. This law would allow people to stay home when they or their dependent(s) were sick. Its not going to put a statue of Lenin in your office!!

    Everyone on here who states that the administration is a bunch of Socialists should really look at what THEY’RE stating about the American worker! They obviously believe the American employee CANNOT be trusted and that employees MUST report to work even when sick! The fat cats must get their productivity!!!

  • Alessandra

    Frances – Learn more or change jobs.


    Crawl out from under the boulder where you have been for months, apparently. The last administration drove America into the ground and most likely will go down in history as one of the worst administrations ever. I have friends and family all over the country – many of whom have been laid-off. My sister, who has a great resume, bachelor’s degree, solid job history – has been out of work since October. There are families all over the country that are out of work in this failed economy. My company has laid off 10% of it’s work force.

    It’s SO easy to point fingers inside of 2 months since the new administration has taken control, when the last administraion, over the past 8 years, plunged this great country of ours into a depression in which we have yet to fully feel all of it’s dreadful impacts.

    We are in this together, like it or not. And for the record, I’m not a fan of this proposal at all, either…

  • CB

    The Healthy Families Act (HFA, S. 910) is sponsored by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA).

  • Ed

    Alessandra – We are not in a depression – get facts correct.

    Several of the recent proposal are how Socialst economies work and are defined.

    Mike – I do not think you couold be in HR. How dumb of a staement can you make – “fat cats must get their productivity” Fool – no productivity means no sale of product – no cash flow – bye bye jobs. If you have found a company that pays you to look out the window then good for you – but if we (as a company) do not get things done . . .

    Mike – what should the business owners reward be for risking everything that he and his family has – putting in twice the hours you do and employ workers. Shouldn’t he be allowed some sort of reward?

  • mike

    Which fat cats are you referencing… Barney Frank, Teddy Kennedy and Chucky Schumer? You’d better wake up!

  • Brian

    I wonder if this same debate went on when overtime pay was instituted?

    “Socialism!!! Lack of individualism!!!!POOR business owners! Now I have to pay time and a half for anything over 40 hours!!”

    You guys crack me up.

    In fairness, I think only companies that DON’T offer any sick time should be forced to. Don’t mandate it for those of us that already do offer that benefit in some way, shape or form.

  • Beatty

    I am not against our employees – I am one of the employees myself. We have a generous PTO policy and because we are a health clinic, we are very sensitive to employees needing time off for themselves or others. We also allow employees to accrue up to 2-years worth of PTO before forcing them to use or it be paid out for the time. Every year, we have more than a dozen employees who opt for the payout.

    That said, I do not believe MANDATORY sick time is a beneficial thing. What about employees who decide to work when they are sick – we don’t want them here spreading germs but unless they have certain symptoms spelled out in the handbook they can still choose to work. I am thinking towards the future. I don’t want an employee to sue us because they chose not to take the time off but then they claim we didn’t allow it. If they make something mandatory, I worry about the repercussions.

  • Branna

    The only time I take time off is to take care of my kids when they are sick. But I don’t get any vacation time for another year w. my new job. So I have to take unpaid days off to care for them. However.. I am a single Mom… just my income supporting my family. This new bill would be great for me… however… just more government control!!

  • mike

    You folks are ALL missing the point. It’s not about fairness and equity and all those quaint notions. It’s about CONTROL!!! Control of your business by others who can stand on the sidelines and give you directions because they are smarter than you, more compassionate than you and just generaaly better than you. And there is NOTHING any of you can or will be able to do about it.

  • Dawn

    For eight years we have allowed the government to step aside and allow “Executives of Companies” make all the decisions that run the work force and the economy, and look were we are at – THE WORST DOWNTURN IN THE ECONOMY SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION. I am happy to see that the wealth is being shared for an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay!

    What is wrong with allowing integrity, justice, and compassion as a way of during business? The problem is that Big Businesses and Top Executives do not know how to operate business without lies and greed. Just look at AIG – and tell me why we should not allow government to regulate what obviously business cannot do on their own. Businesses have forgotten about ALL THE STAKEHOLDERS WHEN IT MAKES DECISIONS!

    Employees are terminated based on attendance and that may be caring for sick children etc…, yet how often do we hear of executives being terminated for abuse of the company’s money etc… never! What has happened to peoples since of principles and values? We have to now have laws because companies such as AIG cannot operate without laws and regulations! The honest workers did not put us in this situation; therefore, it is those that preach capitalism. I do not trust them any longer with the outcome of securing how and when I am going to be able to care for my family.

  • Brian

    Mike, I can’t tell, are you talking about the workers or the employers? It goes both ways………

  • Ed

    Sure there is Mike –

    Sell of all of your assests – send all the employees packing and lock the doors! Tax nothing and mandate nothing – ha!

  • Ryan

    Here is some news from Milwaukee, where it was mentioned the sick leave has been approved….

    Judge Thomas Cooper granted a temporary injunction request in regard to the City of Milwaukee Sick Pay Ordinance. The Judge entered a preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of the Milwaukee Sick Leave Ordinance until the case is decided on the merits. MRA, along with other pro-business organizations, opposed the Milwaukee Paid Sick Leave ordinance. Businesses were relieved to hear this ruling and that there will be sufficient time and examination of the legal issues surrounding the ordinance.

    Judge Cooper said “This is such an important issue for the city that we better do it right from the start. My overall concern is that we do this right. I have no doubt that the court of appeals and the Supreme Court will eventually get to weigh in on this decision.”

    The Sick Pay Ordanance was placed on the ballot in the November elections. The mandate was approved by 68 percent of the Milwaukee voters….other cities beware…

  • Ed

    Brian –

    Do you do the work your boss asks you to – or do you only do what you fell like doing?

    If you want the job you follow that company’s rules, policies and get the work done. If you want to play solitare and look at pron – there is the door.An employer must exact some control of the work force – if you were in HR you would know that.

  • Jane

    While I think 7 days are too many, some type of sick time off plan is necessary if only to protect the general office population from catching your germ. We had 3 days until 2008, when they were taken away. Employees are now using vacation days to cover sickness. We’ve never been given personal days. Maybe if we gave just a little, we could avoid the “socialists” mandates.

  • Scott

    Interesting to read the comments.

    Some of it makes sense. Others ranting. Wonder why this would need to be written into law?

    Things like this are simply proof, to me, that there are just a few bad companies that aren’t treating their employees very well. So the companies that do pretty good job have new rules to live by. Weak management. HR departments. Bad hiring practices.

    Government does not get involved in anything that doesn’t give them a few more votes to stay in Power. Nor do they do something that they don’t think will get them “good press” with the people…(which translates into votes) There must simply be enough people complaing to make this an issue.

    Imagine if employees said that they loved their job and wouldn’t change a thing. Kind of funny…but interesting twist. What if employees were committed, on a mission, involved in the company? Then you could tell them the cost of a sick day…and they would then make the right choice. Whether to be sick or not. But hey…if you are sick. Stay at home.

    Want a challenge? Create an unlimited PTO program. Work with your manager and take whatever days you need. What kind of employee would that take? What kind of manager? Now that would be fun to implement.

    Shocking to read all the posts that talk about how their employees will abuse this. Some companies even require a doctor’s note. Wow. Doesn’t sound like business. More like elementary school.
    Sure, employees will take advantage of sick day/PTO. So what?

    I’m sure most everyone that has posted has called in ‘sick’ at least once or twice in their career. Treat an employee like an adult and they will surprise you. Assuming you hired the right person to start with. Most companies don’t. Sounds like a lot of the people posting here haven’t.

    This is a good time to fire them and hire some new ones. Clean house. Get rid of the bad ones. Hire the right ones.

    I hate new laws like this. They can’t/don’t work with the employees. They treat them like the enemy or worse yet..a necessary evil. Which then leads to laws like this.

    Should the government interfere? Of course not. Do they? Sure. Why? Because they are Socialist? Nah….that is just ranting. Makes us feel better. We are still a representative democracy. We have just learned how to vote ourselves perks out of the treasury. Scarier than socialism.

    Well, I got to rant for a bit as well now. Back to work.

    Shouldn’t we all be working right now? 😉

  • Brian

    Ed, settle down, I AM in HR and I gladly do what my bosses ask me to do. However (getting back to the original argument of this article) I have the ability to miss work and not be penalized. Many in this country do not. I don’t want the young lady at Starbucks or Chick Fil A to have the flu, but come into work anyway and then serve me coffee.

    I’m merely pointing out that it’s not a bad thing to allow for sick time. Is seven too many days? Yes, especially if it’s tacked on to the additional 10-20 days of PTO.

  • MelanieB

    Everybody quick! Change your vacation/PTO Plans. Once this is passed, your time off benefit, whether it’s vacation or PTO, becomes a mandatory set-in-stone benefit that will not be subject to change without violating the HFA. It’s one thing to pass the HFA, but they went one step further when they mandated that existing vacation/PTO policy could not be altered.

  • Brian

    I’m actually looking to try and find that part about the bill (not changing current plans). Do you have a link to that info?

  • Ed

    Brian –

    This is from the article above these posts –
    What about current paid leave policies?

    The bill says employers won’t need to change anything if they already give employees sick leave that’s at least equivalent to what’s required by HFA. But employers would be prohibited from eliminating leave they already offer in an attempt to offset the mandatory sick days.

    That means companies won’t be able to reduce vacation time to offset the costs of additional sick time. And some experts interpet the provision to mean companies offering a general PTO bank would need to add seven sick days in addition to what’s already available.

  • MelanieB
  • Bill

    Can we change current policy prior to this HRA becoming law?

  • Alessandra

    Ed – I also said in which we have yet to fully feel all of it’s dreadful impacts. I certainly should have been more specific, in addition not jumping the gun and pre-labeling our economy.

    It seems very certain, based upon current and projected economic conditions, that we are heading into a depression.

  • Brian

    Ed, I understand that this article says that, but I’m looking for some confirmation from something more official. I asked Sam to send me a link (2nd post of this thread), but haven’t received anything. I’m interested in who ‘some experts’ are.

    I generally follow, but they list no bills having been introduced similar to Kennedy’s S.910 from 2007. The article says that “The house held a hearing on [the bill]”, I’m assuming that meant it was at least introduced.

    S.910 (2007) did state that:
    2) NO ELIMINATION, REDUCTION, OR REDESIGNATION OF EXISTING LEAVE- An employer may not eliminate, reduce, or redesignate any leave in existence on the date of enactment of this Act in order to comply with the provisions of this Act.

    I’m curious to know if the bill is in the same format. As defined in that bill, sick leave is not the same as vacation.

  • Ed

    Recent news has stated that we will be heading out of this current problem by then end of the year and feel those effects by mid 2010.

    The great depression lasted much, much longer and was so much worse than what we are now facing and greed was less of an issue then than it is now.

    Brian – vacation is leave time.

  • Connie

    I have never voted a straight ticket and I normally don’t like to get into these debates but Mike wrote: …Control of your business by others who can stand on the sidelines and give you directions because they are smarter than you, more compassionate than you and just generally better than you. And there is NOTHING any of you can or will be able to do about it.

    Please correct me if I am wrong but it sounds like Mike is saying that the government should control business because the government workers are smarter, more righteous… all around better than me. Again, Mike is saying that the government will care more about my customers, profit, workers,… than I do because they are smarter than me. If that is the case am I smart enough to … vote? smart enough to choose my career? smart enough to reproduce? smart enough to choose my life mate? Forgive me if I misunderstood Mike’s premise but who is going to choose the government workers? I kind of like the idea that maybe everyone should take a test to see if you are smart enough to vote, raise children, marry – oops I think a few people might think they have rights. Now I admit I know a lot of people smarter than me but when I went to college and I studied other economic systems – not too many dictatorships made the industrialized list. And that freedom of speech, freedom to move, freedom to pursue happiness … well it might be picked for you by a smart government worker. P.S. I corrected your typo’s

  • Alessandra

    Brian – Sounds like one of the “experts” is:

    Attorney Mike Aitken, speaking at a recent Society for Human Resources Management conference in Washington, D.C., said he expects Congress to take a vote on the bill this spring.

    From the article.

    I would be interested in who the experts are as well.

  • mike

    Alessandra: With all due respect you should probably broaden your source of information beyond the the NBC, CBS nightly “woe is me” News. If you’re not careful they’ll soon have you jumping off a bridge.

  • Bill

    I agree w/Ed. Moving forward, vacation will now become “sick” leave.

  • Brian

    Ed, from S.910
    (9) SICK LEAVE- The term `sick leave’ means an increment of compensated leave provided by an employer to an employee as a benefit of employment for use by the employee during an absence from employment for any of the reasons described in paragraphs (1) through (3) of section 5(d).

    5(d), 1-3
    (d) Uses- Sick leave accrued under this section may be used by an employee for any of the following:

    (1) An absence resulting from a physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition of the employee.

    (2) An absence resulting from obtaining professional medical diagnosis or care, or preventive medical care, for the employee subject to the requirement of subsection (e).

    (3) An absence for the purpose of caring for a child, a parent, a spouse, or any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship, who–
    (A) has any of the conditions or needs for diagnosis or care described in paragraph (1) or (2); and

    (B) in the case of someone who is not a child, is otherwise in need of care.

    I’m not sure this affects given “vacation” time. Which includes PTO. This needs to be more detailed or a corporate lawyer will have a field day with this.

  • Felicia

    Well put Alessandra!

  • Brian

    Ed, nevermind. I misread 5(g)2.

  • Alessandra

    Mike – Please do not assume from where I receive my news – you are quite inaccurate in your assumption. But, I cannot agree with you more on the “woe is me” bit. We need to concentrate on picking ourselves up and doing everything we can to help each other and the economy out – our country out. I do not see this proposal as something that will benefit workers and companies.

    I was stating my opinion.

    Ed – I hope you are right – I really do. The Great Depression lasted longer than 10 years, and took many government programs to help bail the economy out… I’d love to see our country back on-track in 2010.

  • Lynn

    In OH the mandatory sick day proposal (unallowed) was permitting the employee to break down the time off into increments smaller than 1 hour. Proposal also noted that employers were not permitted to discipline employees for utilizing their sick time. This equated to employees being able to leave early on Fridays “sick”, or come in late on Mondays “sick” and the employer unable to discipline for attendance issues. It’s a moral killer, no doubt about it (for those of us truly honest hard working individuals). Not to mention the HR attendance tracking issues….. The devil of this will be in the details.

  • SC

    I am baffled by how many HR people are against this new legislation. I have worked in HR for a long time and there are so many people that come to work sick and get other people sick. There was a time in my career where an entire department was out with the stomach flu because someone decided to come to work with it. Most of the department was out for 3 to 4 days depending on the severity. So there was absolutely no productivity in that department for an entire week.

    There will always be those people who take advantage of the system. The manager and HR are the ones who should control this type of behavior.

    I think that Obama is right to do this. There are so many businesses in the U.S. that want their employees to work to death, pay them almost nothing and not give them vacation or sick time. Again, greed is the common factor in all of this. There is no thought or care of how the employee is being treated.

    I know that there are some really good companies in the U.S. who treat their employees well. These are companies that value their employees and will not take issue with this legislation because more than likely they are giving their employees paid sick time.

  • Lisa

    If we already give employees 4 sick days and 4 personal days, will this bill mean we have to add three more sick days? What if we were to change our policy now from 4 & 4 to 8 sick/personal days that can be used for either? Would we still have to add more?

  • When is the government going to stay out of business and let us contineu to run it. Some of us are doing a good job. If you don’t like the benefits at one company you can always look somewhere else. Why should the employer be burdened with a decision that they cannot control. Our company current has 12 paid sick days per year, with a maximum of 60 days. Those are for in case of a major illness. We also pay for short and long term disability insurance. If we are required to treat sick time like vacation time….our policies will definitely change. Also, what difference will there be between a full-time employee and a part-time employee other than the amount of hours they can accrue? I like offering the benefit, but I don’t want to be forced into it.

  • Karen

    Here is why I am baffled, why seven and not five that would be equal to a 40 hour work week. I do wonder how they came up with seven.

  • HR Pro

    As an employee first and a HR person second. I think that this is good for my company. We have about 300 employees and only received 5-20 vacation days and 7 unpaid PERSONAL time. So yes I think its a good thing to do to stop the spread of illness and help families take care of themselves and family members.

  • mike

    Oh Please, SC! The point of all this is that none of this is any of the Federal Governments business.

  • Brian

    Right, Mike. Because when left to their own devices, corporations will ALWAYS do the right thing.

  • John

    I work for a manufacturer with 100 union employees who already have generous vacation and personal day benefits. We argued and replaced sick leave with personal days 3 contracts ago because sick leave was being abused and employees were being dishonest (i.e., calling in sick and then going and playing golf or whatever). Employees don’t get as many personal days as they were getting sick days, but employees can use personal days when calling in sick or to take days off to do whatever they want and it cut down on a lot of dishonesty. The way I’m sure this would be interprepted would be adding 7 sick days on top of those personal days- something that would really hurt a business our size.

  • Ed

    Brian –

    Get your butt out there and start your own business – go for it! I want to work for you!

  • Brian

    No offense, Ed, but it sounds like I wouldn’t ever hire you.

  • Alessandra

    I understand what you are saying, SC. But, for instance, our company has a very generous PTO policy to cover sick time as well. Our attendance policy allows employees to be ill or care for ill family members. We also allow employees to roll un-used PTO into a separate sick bank at the end of every year. This new proposed legislation will force our company to incur more costs on top of our already generous PTO and attendance policies (considering that will will have to allow employees to take 7 extra days off per year with pay, if the legislation gets passed as-is) – costs that will inhibit our ability to make money – which keeps this company in business.

    I do not like greed – but companies do have to make profits in order for them to continue to do business.

    It seems like the proposal will affect those employers that have more generous PTO policies negatively, than it will those employers that do not have decent PTO policies.

    But this is just my initial reaction and based on what little I know of the legislation currently. I look forward to reading more about this. Hopefully there will be a silver lining in it somewhere…

  • SC

    So Mike, I guess you are saying that it is okay to treat people like dirt when they work for a company/business. The government gets involved because there are companies/businesses who think that it is okay to treat people like dirt. It is just not right.

  • Ed

    Brian –

    That is because you don’t think that I deserve the benefits that you want to give those that share your political beliefs.

  • Brian

    Ed, if you’re serious, then I’m done corresponding with you. That’s just stupid. Do you actually KNOW anyone who gives out benefits based on political beliefs? And gets away with it?

    By the way, what makes you think you know my political beliefs?

  • Ed

    Brian –

    By the way –

    My political beliefs are a protected class – so you just admitted that you would disqualify me from consideration illegally! God help your company!

  • SC

    Alessandra, I understand what you are saying. I hope that the legislation will not adversely impact your company. I think in some cases it will have an adverse impact, which is unfortunate. This legislation would not have been proposed if companies all over the country were fair in the first place.

  • Ed

    Oh please Brian –

    Your posts speak for themselves.

    Unless you know what my degrees are in – what my work experience is in – how well all the employees speak of me in this company etc. . .

    Then what did you base yuor comment on?

  • MelanieB

    Really, does anybody do the right thing? Corporations come up short and unions have been going over the top. Now the Government decides to step in and, unfortunately, they step on EVERYBODY. Corporations that do make an effort to foster a good working environment and provide adequate or exception benefits end up getting slapped with legislation such as this. Yes there are companies that provide nothing and their employees are sneezing all over the fast food, but hosing corporate America with napalm is not the answer.

  • Denisep

    This is a terrible idea. Those employees that look for any reason to get paid for being off work will now get an automatic 7 days extra. That’s not right and I am about sick of benefits being extended to those that abuse them. I agree with what was said earlier-what ever happened to an honest days pay for an honest days work! I do agree that when people are sick, they need to stay home and not bring it to the office, but they shoul dbe required to take vacation time for that missed time, or make that time up on a day they would normally be scheduled off.

  • Ed

    Brian –

    Come on – what did you base your comment on – come on – tell us all –

  • Jerry Springer

    Hi this is Jerry Springer. I’d like to have all of you come on my show. Bring your low-brow name calling and your undistinguished political views with. It’ll be a fun time.

  • Ed

    Oh well – he ran off. Wish I knew how he knew my qualifications to determine my eligibilty to wqork for his organization – the world may never know> (yes the Tootsie Pop commercial)

  • Bruce

    I do agree that with any policy, rule, or benefits, there will be examples of abuses. I do not think not offering the benefit (paid sick leave) at all is the solution. I believe that the majority of the employees would not abuse the policy and that there are millions of examples of hard working individuals who have fallen ill, or have had family members to fall ill who could use this benefit. Based on many of the comments above, it sounds like many of you don’t trust your own workforce and believe that the majority of the people who work for your company would abuse the benefit. That is a shame, because maybe you’re right! Maybe you should evaluate your hiring practices. However, there are some companies who hire people with integrity and who would not abuse the benefit/privilege. These same employees in turn will help the company achieve it’s goals because they (employees with integrity) know that the company is truly interested it’s best resource, its people!

  • RZ

    MelanieB. you nailed it – there are MANY business out there that are very good and honest to their employees.

    our business is in the food industry and in fact there are state health laws that does not allow an employee to work if they have an illness that is contagious! so don’t worry about that person sneezing on your food 🙂

    For real… this legislation is a joke and a disgrace to hard working Americans!!!

  • Bruce

    I do agree that with any policy, rule, or benefits, there will be examples of abuses. I do not think not offering the benefit (paid sick leave) at all is the solution. I believe that the majority of the employees would not abuse the policy and that there are millions of examples of hard working individuals who have fallen ill, or have had family members to fall ill who could use this benefit. Based on many of the comments above, it sounds like many of you don’t trust your own workforce and believe that the majority of the people who work for your company would abuse the benefit. That is a shame, because maybe you’re right! Maybe you should evaluate your hiring practices. However, there are some companies that hire people with integrity who would not abuse the benefit/privilege. These same employees in turn will help the company achieve it’s goals because they (employees with integrity) know that the company is truly interested it’s best resource, its people!

  • Bruce

    I do agree that with any policy, rule, or benefits, there will be examples of abuses. I do not think not offering the benefit (paid sick leave) at all is the solution. I believe that the majority of the employees would not abuse the policy and that there are millions of examples of hard working individuals who have fallen ill, or have had family members to fall ill who could use this benefit. Based on many of the comments above, it sounds like many of you don’t trust your own workforce and believe that the majority of the people who work for your company would abuse the benefit. That is a shame, because maybe you’re right! Maybe you should evaluate your hiring practices. However, there are some companies that hire people with integrity who would not abuse the benefit/privilege. These same employees in turn will help the company achieve its goals because they (employees with integrity) know that the company is truly interested its best resource, its people!

  • Ed

    Bruce –

    It is about the government sticking it’s nose in places that it doesn’t belong.

    In order to attract and retain good employees – you have to have a better comp package than other employers in your area –

    How many business owners do you personally know? Business owners love that they employ people and create jobs. If they cannot afford something – don’t make them lose employees in order to pay out things that they cannot afford.

  • Kim

    Perhaps I should not admit this, but I am being sincere, in which states are political beliefs a protected class? I was not aware they are protected. ??

  • Ed

    Brian is AWOL –

    Brian – I would love to know how you know what my qualifications are, my degrees and my experience. Otherwise what did you base your statement on?

  • Ed

    The highly liberal state of Wisconsin – I am not sure what other states may have that as a protected class.

  • Kim

    Thanks for the info Ed, that’s a new one for me!

  • Ed

    Wisconsin protects pretty much anything that you can think of. If your company has a business here you might want to look into the State’s specific classes.

  • Ed

    I am feeling nasty today –

    Na na na na- na na na na – hey hey hey Goodbye (Brian)

  • Jerry Springer

    Ed – I just looked up the list of Wisconsin’s Protected Classes and “political beliefs” are most certainly not listed.

  • Jacque

    The bill referred to in this article was introduced in 2005 by Senator Ed Kennedy and that bill is DEAD. If the author of this article is aware of a current bill on this subject, what is the bill number? I haven’t been able to find on in the current session of Congress.

  • HR in Ohio

    As the article mentioned, this was defeated in Ohio – barely! Ohio has a provision that allows issues such as this to go to the voters and the polls suggested it would have passed with an overwhelming majority. It was pulled from the November ballot because they decided it would be better to pursue this at the federal level instead.

    I’m in favor of paid sick leave for all of the reasons stated. I also agree that there will always be some folks who will try to cheat the system, but several of the posts here left me feeling a little uncomfortable. There’s too much emphasis on preventing cheating. Shouldn’t we be focusing on improving employee relations so that the majority of our folks won’t want to cheat?

    That being said, I firmly believe this proposed legislation is still a VERY BAD IDEA! If this passes, it will be too big of a financial drain on many small employers. I haven’t read the proposed legislation yet. If it is anything like the legislation that was proposed in Ohio last year, the “fine print” will be a disaster for employers of all sizes. The proposed legislation in Ohio had too many items that were unclear, which meant we would have to wait for case law to clarify. Who wants to be the test case?! And the items that were clear, were clearly written from the employee’s perspective.

    I hope the federal government will listen to the business community on this topic more than they did in Ohio. But, I have very little hope because this is backed by SEIU, and we’re already seeing President Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress siding with labor unions over businesses on the Employee Free Choice Act. That raises a thought. Who is coming up with these names? Employee Free Choice Act takes away the freedom of a secret ballot election; Healthy Families Act provides benefits when people are unhealthy. HMMM.

  • Ed

    This was put on the Ballot in Milwaukee (Home of Danny Gokey!) and it overwhelmingly passed. But was blocked by an injuction – thank goodness.

  • Ed

    Sure thing Brain – I mean Jerry –

  • JB

    Yikes! Sounds like a few people need to sit down and take their blood pressure medication. I will keep my personal opinion in this matter to myself, although I will say that I believe a company should balance profitability against caring and compassion for its employees. That’s why the company I work for has such a high retention rate, with 34% of the employees having passed 10 years of service; 14% passed 20 years; 10% passed 30 years; and 27% between five and ten years. And all without paid sick leave OR personal days — just standard vacation. Employees are very aware of whether their employer truly cares about their well being as productive human beings, or is only concerned with the bottom line.

    Ed, by the way, are you the owner of your company? I noticed you’ve been posting comments since 9:01 this morning, seven hours of the workday. That kind of internet abuse could get you terminated at my and many other companies.

  • Kim

    I say we all quit complaining, find out more about the bill and do something about it, write letters to your state representatives, whatever needs to be done, if you don’t like something, change it or shut up.

  • Susan

    Does anyone have any information on how long the employee must work for a company before he can receive sick pay under this new bill? The company I work for requires employees to be here for a year before they accrue vacation. FMLA requires 12 months employment before they are eligible so just wondering what the time requirements are on this benefit.

    The more I read about this bill, the more I find that doesn’t seem equitable to some employers. If a company does not offer paid sick days, then they must offer 7 days. (I think that is too many and hopefully will be reduced). Employers who already offer sick days can’t just add however many additional days would be needed to equal 7, which would still be more than the employee was getting previously, but they have to add 7 MORE days to their existing benefits. Making it mandatory that employers offer 7 days (or whatever the final number ends up being) is one thing, but making it mandatory for employers to offer more than that simply because they had an existing benefit is punishing the employers who were offering it in the first place.
    Many of you were concerned about employee abuse. That may be so but once they have used their paid sick days, they won’t have them for when they really are sick. If you’re thinking, “Well, they will just use FMLA.” Ok, but that is not paid time unless they have some type of paid leave accrued and your company requires them to use it while on FMLA. I wonder if the reverse can be true – if an employee is using a sick day, could you count it toward their FMLA?
    I think the main concern – which is what my company is facing – is how are we going to afford this? We are bidding (commercial construction) jobs at the lowest possible margin we can but there are quite a few companies that are bidding against us at or below cost. We have reduced our workforce through attrition, laid more people off, reduced work week hours and increased the number of hats office personnel wear (I have four myself), and delayed raises no matter how well deserved they may be but we have not cut benefits. If this passes, we will have to cut even more somewhere, at least until the economy turns around and who knows when that will be.
    A lot of blame has been thrown around as to who got us where we are now but the bottom line is we are here and something needs to be done to change it. I do not see how Obama’s proposals will improve America as a whole. I know it is early in the game but this has nothing to do with any political party but just economic sense. Bush didn’t have any great ideas either and we were headed for a recession during his office. We can’t just throw good money after bad. We can’t think that tax cuts and more government spending can go hand in hand. We can’t do all things for all people nor can we expect any improvement to happen overnight. We do have such an overwhelming economic problem in this country that it makes one wonder, “Where do we begin?” Obama’s ideas may have the right intentions, but many other things need to be fixed first or at least concurrently such as the state of our nation’s economy, unemployment, jobs being shipped overseas, affordable health care (I am NOT for government run national health care either), alternative fuel sources and many, many more…

  • Yoli

    Where’s this and the upcoming EFCA taking us on the promise of keeping the jobs here in the States? I’m losing hope…

  • Tim Hess

    More jobs heading overseas.

  • Cindy

    I work for a company who doesn’t offer ANY sick days….so I think it’s a great idea. I see too many of our employees coming in sick because they can’t afford to stay home. It’s either come to to work or use your vacation days (we don’t give many of these either). How many people want to spend vacation days home in bed? We also only have four “official” paid holidays. If they happen to fall on a Sunday, we don’t even get those days.

    Employees need days off to recharge.

  • Jan

    Just remember…….there is no such thing as a free lunch. Someone is going to absorb the cost. Paid sick leave doesn’t come cheap.

  • Brian

    Good morning Ed!!! Sorry, I don’t have time to read all this.

    I’m still waiting for proof that this bill is even being talked about in the House or Senate. I can’t find any evidence of it.

  • mike

    Brian: Do you mean that you couldn’t find any evidence of it, like you couldn’t find any evidence of Obama secretly signing the 410 Billion dollar stimulus in his backyard last week? Or how about any evidence of his secret efforts to disarm Airline Pilots and/or discipline them if they get out of line? or how about his manufactured outrage yesterday at tha AIG Bonuses that his administration already knew of ,etc etc…. too many to list. Wake up!

  • Brian

    Great, Mike. I assume you’re going to send me the link?

  • mike


  • mike

    Brian: No, maybe you could do your own inquring. The facts may mean more to you that way.

  • Brian

    Ah. So you can’t find ANYTHING on the Healthy Families Act in the current session. Gotcha.

    I can’t find what’s not there.

  • HR2

    Mandatory anything coming from this ship of fools is troublesome.

    If employers wanted to accomodate sick time in some fair way – so be it.

    Watching Pelosi on tv this morning advocating illegals break the law and how patriotic it is to do so was sickening. HR will soon no longer exist as a function of business but an enforcement arm of government socialist policy.

    History repeats itself…..

  • Ed

    Good morning Brian!

    I hope you took my posts as teasing – I honestly am just teasing you – people don’t know me but that is me.

    If this is introduced at least we have all had some discussion regarding it already and can react more quickly to questions and concerns that we will have.

  • Meryl

    We have a PTO policy at our company, located in Milwaukee. It is set it up to go with a no fault point system as well. No fault meaning don’t care what the reason is your calling in for. When an employee needs to leave early or arrive late they will get a 1/2 point. If they call in they get 1 point for the day or consecutive days taken off in a row. Plus our plan is set up if you can go 1 quarter/ 3 months with perfect attendance your points are wiped clean plus a $100.00 bonus! Now the kicker is that you must have PTO time to use. Our paid time off includes our “vacation” time as well. So we accumlate these hours every hour we work. Work meaning on the clock and present at work! We started these policies since the beginning of this year. We have issues with employees using these PTO days to just take off and then when there is an emergency or sick, they don’t have the time acculated and they loss their jobs. Also employees begin to use it here and there and then points add up and they loss their job. It really puts the responsibility on the employee to manage their time wisely and not say “Oh its a beautiful day out, I think I’ll take off..who cares about my job.” These polices have held up in unemployment court. Myself I like it. I’ve been here 3 years and I’ve accumulaed enough time for 2 weeks of vacation or more, now 7 extra days for sick days, I take care of myself, make my appts after work hours, and I can’t wait for summer to take off a few days. Those employees who have issues with being to work on time and staying a whole day at work, this policy will have them looking for new jobs. Plus if they have that many issues, they will not be a good employee in the first place. Employers want reliable people to come to work everyday, on time and to do their work.

  • Tracy

    I wish Obama would read all of these valuable comments from such a variety of professionals.

  • Ed

    Kim –

    The problem is – the dems controll the House, the Senate and the Executive Office – this means that any number of people even a majority could call and complain – but if they want to pass it – it will get passed.

  • I am curious as to how this would affect our policy? We have PTO and extended sick leave. However, you have to off work for at least 3 days before you can utilize any of your extended sick leave. We also only offer 47.58 hours per year which is less than 7, 40 hour days. Any thoughts on how this would effect us?

  • Ed

    Tracey –

    I hope that it would matter to our President – but he got elected by many (not all) of the masses that want all they can get regardless of consequences. It is all about what’s in it for me with many Americans these days and that sucks!

  • Jerry Springer

    JB – Ed is not only filling up this discussion with his idiocracy, but two or three others as well. All day long….

  • Ed

    Love you Jerry – be good to eachother –

  • Brian

    We have the same policy. The problem as I see it is that it would be unfair to add seven days to the current PTO policy.

  • Ed

    Jerry – you are a funny guy –

  • CS

    I don’t quite get this. We got rid of Sick time and Vacation time because people were using their sick time as vacation time (an hour here two there). When I came on board I put a stop to the abuse of sick time. So we would not have to deal with employees complaining about not being able to use their sick time when they wanted in place of their vacation time we just combined the two. They got 3 weeks of PTO in place of 2 week vacation and 1 week of sick leave. If I understand this correctly we have to now give them 3 weeks of vacation in place of the 2 we intended and continue on the week of sick? That is for new employees, longer ones get more time. And what if they don’t use up that time in a year? Do we have to allow them to bank it? what if they quit, do they get it paid out?

  • Ed

    I know this is off topic – but hey half this stuff is.

    Has anynoe heard anything from the DOL about the draft notice for the COBRA premium subsidy granted under the ARRA? It was supposedly mandated to be available yesterday – but I can find nothing.

  • Brian

    Ed, I just got caught up in reading. You thought I was Springer. lol. Maybe I would hire you after all. You’re relentless (or a stalker) 🙂

    I’m sorry to say this has been a wasted discussion. I can find no evidence of this being discussed in the House or Senate this session. And I think Teddy Kennedy is so giddy, he’ll introduce a thousand other things before he tries to bring this up; maybe I’m wrong.

  • Judy

    Ed – I just received this link myself for the COBRA notices:

  • Elizabeth

    “Teddy Kennedy is so GIDDY…?” What a heartless thing to say.

  • Ed

    Elizabath – he wasn’t being heartless – that was likely heartfelt –

    Heartless would be something like – demented, incompetent or first rate alzheimers patient. Those would be heartless.

    Giddy – heartless? – get a life Liz.

  • Cindy


    I DON’T think that this issue shows that everyone is “out for themselves”. On the contrary, I HAVE health insurance so it doesn’t matter to me personally if we have a UHP. It does however, matter to me when I know that others out there do not have access to care. You mentioned before that you don’t take medicine you should be taking because of the cost. I do that also and it’s a shame that I have to. No one should have to make the choice on cutting back on medication for financial reasons.

  • Ed

    One way to reduce drug costs is to ban drug companies from advertising – I have heard that there are only two contries in the world that allow drug companies to advertise – I do not know if that is true – but advertising is expensive and if they stop advertising – it would greatly reduce costs. I have never asked my docs about drugs I have seen advertised.

  • Cindy


    They posted the wrong web address for the model notice. I went to the SHRM message boards and found the right link there from another poster. Do you need it? I will have to go back on the boards to find it again because all I did was click on the link

  • Paul Brophy

    This would be a great thing for woking men and women. Its about time that America wakes up and smells the roses. Corporate america has lined its pockets with big salaries, bonuses, and perks galore its high time working stiffs get some true relief. This country has lost good paying jobs overseas and employers that are still here like to threaten there workforce and intimidate them into accepting less for themselves so the management gets more. Stand up and fight corporate America this issue is good for us all.

  • Ed

    Oh yes please and Thank You so very much!!!!

    I truly appreciate this.

  • Cindy
  • Yvonne

    I’m in total agreement with Marys (Mar.18) comment in regards to one more nail in our coffin. I’m a
    big fan of capitalism and sorry to say that employees will take advantage of the sick leave as I’ve seen them take advantage of Worker Comp, Unemployement Etc. This new adminstration is killing this great country of ours and turning into a socialist country which has never worked in any other country.

  • Ed

    Thank You both – Judy and Cindy for the link. I am happy now 😉

    Now that we only have 28 days to get all of the notices mailed out or face huge fines – we finally have the tools to do it! Ours will be out before the end of next week.

  • Cindy

    to Ed: Its giving me a headache!

  • Ed

    But Cindy – its only 13 pages ::)

  • Cindy

    I don’t totally like their version so I’m tweeking.

  • Ed

    Paid sick days not a bill that I can find but –

  • Meryl

    Brian –
    Do you mean 7 more days to what Obama is trying to pull through or what Milwaukee currently did? From what I understand is if employers already has the sick days incorporated into their policy, nothing will change per Obama idea. Now if we have to add 7 more days to our already standing policy…I’m not sure what my boss would say – maybe…. socialism. If government wants us to put 7 more days in our sick day/PTO policy, that’ll start to hurt the budget of the company. As an employee, I see left over time at the end of the year that I wouldn’t know what to do with.

  • HR chick

    I think Ed and Brian should go on Jerry Springer and duke it out….Ding Ding Ding….
    Round 100

  • Wes

    Following up on what Ryan said, the Milwaukee initiative was placed on the ballot through a signature campaign by a citizen group. It did not actually come from the local government. It does place the onus on local government to enforce it, and they were not prepared with the resources to do so.

    I work for a company with a very generous paid sick policy – more generous than any company I know. The initiative passed by voters said that if a company had a more generous policy, they need not adhere to this one. As generous as ours is, it still isn’t as generous as this measure. The document setting forth the policy is 7 pages long! Seriously! You’d think it DID come from government! I can’t imagine what a Federal policy would look like.

  • Brian

    From reading Kennedy’s S.910 bill, Section 5(g)2:
    (2) NO ELIMINATION, REDUCTION, OR REDESIGNATION OF EXISTING LEAVE- An employer may not eliminate, reduce, or redesignate any leave in existence on the date of enactment of this Act in order to comply with the provisions of this Act.

    If you have PTO days, which are for vacation and sick days, we may not be able to do anything BUT add 7 days to the current plan. This is the issue I have. I have no problem requiring sick days (though 7 seems like a bit much) for those that have none, but companies with PTO have a right to know what would be done if this bill passes. We offer 10 PTO days (accrued) each year. It would not be fair to add seven more days to that, without changing the current amount. It also hardly seems fair to take days away from those that NEVER call in sick and can use all 10 days as vacation, or carry them over.

    I hope they are including PTO days as sick days, since they can all be used as sick days.

    My head hurts. Did I make any sense?

  • John

    Reading these comments, the most amazing thing to me is the people who think that companies that don’t have sick leave are treating their employees unfairly or have a problem with their hiring practices. I stated my situation above, but I’ll add that my company provides more paid time off then most companies, we have very low turnover (the least senior hourly employee has been here 10 years), outstanding LTD benefits, and a good relationship with the union. Despite all that, it would be abused (which is the reason we converted from a “sick leave” to a PTO program to begin with) and would add a tremendous cost to our company at a time when we’re struggling to remain profitable.

  • Brian

    I’m not referring to companies that “don’t have a sick leave policy”. I’m referring to companies that have NO leave policy – vacation, sick, whatever. I think there are companies that have no paid leave and they can get away with it more than likely because they probably have low-wage or low-skilled workers. At the minimum, companies should offer about three days per year of sick time. Then maybe they wouldn’t HAVE the turnover issues. My guess is that companies like this count on turnover rather than try to keep long term employees.

    And yes, I’m aware that it puts the financial onus on the business owner, but you’re going to tell me that turnover (in the long run) is LESS expensive?

  • Cindy

    I’ve lost good candidates because of our paid time off policy. WE have no sick time at all and no personal time and limited vacation days and very few holidays

  • Ken

    I am amazed at the banter in this blog. Who in their right mind thinks some degree of socialism is wrong for the U.S.? Haven’t you heard of Social Security or Medicare or Unemployment Compensation or Minimum Wage or the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation or the FDIC or Wage and Hour laws or the Civil Rights Act or the Equal Pay Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act or … All of those elements woven into our society (again a word with the same Latin root as socialism) are aimed at preventing us from becoming a nation of predators, feeding on each other.

    I don’t like everything being proposed by the new administration. I do hope through our democratic process that all views are considered and a reasonable solution is found.

  • Ed

    HR chick –

    If we get to where the big fat Sumo suits I would be all for it – sounds like fun 🙂

  • HR chick

    Ed, I would like to be in the audience for that one!! Or even the referee:)

    We used to have 40 hours per year of personal time until this past January. The company suspended our time until furthur notice, for good they might as well have said. That has hurt a lot of employees that have not been here long enough to receive vacation time. I think 7 days is a bit much, but 3 or 4 days would be nice.

  • Ed

    HR Chick –

    Would a couple of employees voluntarily quit so that your company can afford to give back the lost sick time? I don’t think so.

    This is a very tough time for companies – the more we force them to give away (lose money on) the more jobs that will go away.

  • Brian

    Actually, I agree with Ed on this measure. You can’t force seven more paid days on the employers. However, if all employers were sensible about not having sick employees at work, this wouldn’t be necesary. I think we all agree 3 or 4 days is logical IF they are going to push this. I just think it’s unfair for the law to add 7 days to those who already have a PTO policy. Personally, I like the PTO policy that we have. If you don’t get sick, you have more vacation time.

    But I’m all for the sumo wrestling thing – exercise is exercise. Would I need to use paid leave to do it? 🙂

  • Monica Jones

    Hello every body,

    First of all I’d like to say it’s President Obama, not Mr. Second of all, if you have sick time figured into your PTO, Use the alloted sick time that is figured in and just separate it out as sick time and call the remainder vacation. If the new requirements call for the dismantling of PTO, we just revert back to the vacation and sick time schedules like we had before. Lets not make this harder than it is. As far as it costing companies more money due to people being out fraudulently; we are HR, make your policies strict to require documentation for sick leave, and be clear about what a legit reason would be for using the sick leave. Sick days would not be rolled over from one year to the next, what’s not used is lost. Again, documentation would be required for that leave to be used, so a healthy employee may not even use it, but you made it available to them. I have never been with a company that paid out sick leave upon an employees termination, so I would expect that to still be okay. Only vacation is paid out. For people complaining about the extra time off if we cannot get rid of PTO; here is a senerio. You have an employee with the flu, they continue to work because they have no sick leave. It turns to pneumonia and they become hospitalized for weeks. If you had let them off for 1 week to get better, you would not have to deal with a STD possibly LTD situation. You have cause sick leave to turn into disability which is a much bigger headache.

  • Ed

    I do believe that employers should allow for some paid sick time. One employer I worked for as a behavioral health care case manager only gave one paid sick day. Now we as case managers went to people’s residences – these folks had severe and persistent mental illness ans were almost always sick – because they took very poor care of themselves.

    We were expose to illnesses daily but only allowed one sick day per year – we ended up working sick and/or wasting our vacation time. That is why I worked on getting out of that line of work and that job.

  • Ed

    Monica –

    I am just curious – but did you call President Bush “President” or something else?

    Plus – who referred to our President as Mr?

    Cindy – have you spoken with your executives about losing good candidates do to the policies?

  • Cindy

    From what I understand it’s only for employers who don’t have any sick leave. My company is one of these employers. As I said before, I’ve lost good team members and good applicants because of our paid time off policy. I agree that 4 or 5 days would be sufficient. I came from a place that offered 10 a year plus they accumulated up to 240 days. THis much is just asking for abuse.

  • Cindy


    Yes, I did…they didn’t care.

  • Brian

    Monica, most PTO plans I know of don’t have “allotted” time for sick and vacation; it’s all combined. If they use the same bill that Kennedy proposed, companies CAN NOT change their current policy (once the legislation is enacted). I’m curious to know how this would affect those that have a PTO policy.

  • Ed

    Cindy –

    Were you able to quantify the costs that they endured and will continue to endure? Try to calculate the turnover costs (based on exit interviews) and the lost productivity due to lower skilled employees – then compare that against projected costs of 4 sick days per employee (per year). Numbers sometimes are the only thing that matters to execs.

  • Cindy


    Still don’t think they’d care. The kicker is that probably a good many of our employees wouldn’t use them any way because a lot of of them are on production based or commission pay plans…they make more money if they are here working.

  • Ed

    As soon as the job market improves I would get out of there if I were you –

  • Monica Jones

    Hey Brian,

    After reading further I noted that it looks like the 7 days would be added to what PTO hours are already available to employees. So then I added the part about if they don’t have valid documentation for the sick leave they would not be able to use it, and they would not be able to bank sick hours. Therefore employees that are healthy would not even use the extra 7 hours.

    When companies started to move toward PTO vs VAC/SCK time, what they did was a calculation similar to what one of our colleagues mentioned above (too many to sort through and find) where they combined the 1 week of leave they were already giving for sick in with the vacation time they were also giving to come up with the PTO amount. If you work for a company like mine, vacation leave was accrued at different rates depending on your years of service, so employees have different amounts of PTO that can be accrued within the year. So, that is what I meant by allotted time for sick leave. Maybe there is another way that companies calculated it, but this to me was the fair way to handle it, and employees were comfortable with it.

    Hey Ed,

    As far as me calling President Bush, I never did or had a desire to. I hope this doesn’t come across harsh, but if you want to take the time to go back through all of the discussion to find out who called President Obama Mr., you can, I don’t care to.

    Very respectfully,

  • Ed

    Monica – If you cannot name who called our President Mr., then why did you make the differentiation between President and Mr – reagrding the current President? I didn’t see that anyone did that.

    Also – if you do not give respect how can you expect respect back in return? Just doesn’t make sense – but it is what I am used to.

    I will always respect our chosen leaders – wether or not I garee with their actions or policies – but that is rare to find in the US these days.

    Respectfully –


  • Cindy


    Do you respect President Obama? If so, in what way?

  • Kim

    Mr. versus President:
    For what it’s worth, it was “Linda” back on 3/18/09 at 10:13am and I don’t read into it that she meant it disrespectfully though… however incorrect it may be…

  • Ed

    Cindy –

    1. Have you noticed that I have always used his title? “President”

    2. I know in my heart that he is doing what he feels is best for this Country.

    3. If he called me to fight for our Country – I would answer that call.

    4. I will never make derogatory remarks about him or his family in personal matters.

    Must I agree with him to respect him?

  • Cindy


    Absolutely not. I don’t agree with him on some things and I voted for him. I’m glad you aren’t like alot of conservatives who hate the whole man and not just some of the things he is doing. I agree…I think he is doing what he thinks is best for the country and I am STILL a huge supporter. Even though I’ve been spending WAY to many hours on this danged Cobra notice.

  • Ed

    Also Cindy –

    I hate it that the media never refers to any of our elected leaders by their titles – regardless of how I feel about their policies.

    Kim – Just a quick question for you – did you correct people that spoke about President Bush as Bush or Mr. Bush? I am just curious.

    If we all want to come together then MUTUAL respect should be invloved – no matter who is in office it is The President! As a former US President – “it is normal for us to disagree, but as God is in Heaven do we have to hate eachother so?”

  • Cindy

    I think partisan talk shows should be banned—democrat and republican. It just stirs up too much discontent. Can we think for ourselves or do we have to have others do it for us? Can they just report the facts? Our country would be better off.

  • Ed

    I do not want free speech banned –

    Plus who will monitor the media to ensure mutual respect and even treatment –

    We do NOT need a government controlled media.

    We need to all take a step back and think after we hear something from any source.

  • Kim

    Ed, actually I don’t mean to correct anyone about either Mr. or President, it happened to be brought up and I remembered seeing it is all… don’t think I ever had it come up before with Bush or Obama!

  • Ed


  • Brian

    I have a confession. I referred to President Clinton as “Bubba Clinton”. But I think he liked it.

  • Ed

    🙂 terms of endearment excluded 🙂

  • Monica Jones


    I could have named her if I cared to. The person or people that comment was directed to got the message. I don’t think Linda was being consciously disrespectful, I was just acknowledging and correcting. People do things inadvertantly, but if it is not brought to the forefront of consciousness, the same mistake can take place over and over again. I did not want to take the time to go back and scream out Linda made a mistake, and I don’t know why it was so important for you to have a name??? Kim must have had some extra time on her hands.

    As far as your respect comment, went right over my head. Who are you referring to? If you are referring to our president, in what way has he disrespected you? By trying to get some actions passed that help the little people? I don’t get it.

    Much respect and God bless

  • CS

    I think Ed needs to get off his soap box. She gave him respect by saying Mr. instead of just Obama. And I’m sure she wasn’t trying to degrade him. There for the three posts you had to make to degrade someone else was not worth your time to write it or ours to have to read it.

    We are all HR in some respect or another, lets act like it!!

  • Ed

    Hey CS –

    Plbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbt –

  • Ed

    Monica –

    I was talking about all sides of the political realm respecting eachother – I never mentioned or even hinted that our President disrespected me – not even close to that. I am not sure what you were reading.

    I was trying to say that if Dems want respect from the Reps then they have to show some respect as well. I was saying that respect is a two way street.

    You also should remember that government helping those less fortunate (not little people) usually (not always) creates a culture of dependence which is not beneficial. Job training, education and the like are more important than some of the spending (not all of it) that is going to happen. Extreme caution should have been used with the ARRA – but it wasn’t done by either side of the aisle.

  • Monica Jones

    Okay Ed,

    I understand now, and I agree with some of what you are saying, but don’t agree that allowing people sick leave will cause them to be dependent. I do agree with job training and education as being important. I guess that is why President Obama stated that everyone should go to school for self improvement in his public address. He stated if you don’t have a GED, go get it, if you just go for a few classes, just go. He called the nation to a higher standard because we are so far behind other countries in that regard (education/training).

  • Kim

    NOt everyone can afford to go to school. If you are a middle class citizen, it is even harder, you can’t get a free ride because you are low income and if your wealthy, then you can afford it. Most of the people are middle class just trying to make it, who has enough money to go to school! does Obama want to pay for the middle class that wants to go?
    He has only just begun to ruin and put a strain on the middle class people who just try and stay afloat, and to those employers who are middle class trying to make it on their own, ann now they have to pay out more???
    Unfortunalty as the generation baby boomers exit the work force, and the new generation comes in to play, they expect more but don’t want to work as hard for it….. Hence OBAMA!!!

  • J S

    I have several observations

    1. Those of you screaming this is somehow socialism, obviously don’t know what that means. If it were socialism, your tax dollars would be funding the days off as well as any other paid time off.

    2. If you have abusers, deal with them! It amazes me when those are supposed to be HR professionals don’t know how to handle the small percentage of employees who behave badly. My bet is (and it is a pretty sure bet) if you had a policy such as this, the abusers would be the some ones who abuse your current attendance policy.

    3. Why is everybody getting so upset? It hasn’t happened yet and you’re already asking for details and trying to figure out what policy changes you need to make

  • Cindy

    No matter what any one thinks, I do believe President Obama wants us to be responsible for ourselves and for our country. But he needs some time to get us there.

  • Cindy


    That’s BULL!!! My son is the next generation and he has worked hard in school and worked hard to move up in his company. My younger son KNOW he has to work hard to get get any where. what world do YOU live in. My children DON’T expect hand outs because honestly it really isn’t that easy to get them.

  • Cindy

    Great point, J.S.

    We have abusers and we have NO sick time. I worked at a company that gave 10 days sick, my personnel assistant thought she was DUE all 10 days. She even admitted to taking mental health days. Mean while others didn’t take any of them.

  • Ed

    J S –

    Some of us are getting upset because in order to be able to afford this we will most likely have to let someone go (maybe two people).

    Also – the reason we are reacting now even though it isn’t quite there yet – is that we will need to change our policies BEFORE it is law because the law will not allow us to reduce the days we already give – we will just have to add seven more days to the mix.

    We will effectively be punished for having vacation, personal and sick days already for our employees.

  • CS

    Like Ed said, we combined our 1 week of sick and 2 weeks of vacation (for beginners) and gave them 3 weeks PTO. That is my problem!!! I may just take away paid vacation and they have to use PTO for it like the local Clinic does.

  • Kim


    Actually so is my Daughter!!! she is only 21 years old, has worked very hard and is a Public Information officer for a Large non-profit company. Yes I am a middle class citizen. Is it hard for my daughter to go to school? YES! it is not cheap and she does not have a free ride as do the lower class of this country. (as I stated in my last e-mail.) There are a few good kids, however… most want something for nothing. is this stereo typing… maybe but look at the statistics it’s fact.

  • Cindy


    I’m sorry but I just don’t agree with you on this. I hire a lot of younger people at my company and, yes, some don’t want to work for what they want but a GOOD MANY do. My 20 year old son is staying at a job he hates because they will help pay for his education. I believe President Obama is doing a VERY good job at communicating how we should be doing everything we can to be hard-working productive citizens. He has already changed my way of thinking when it comes to my 13 year old who is struggling in school. I was so ready to blame the teachers for his inability to get good grades. I should have been doing MY part also. PRESIDENT Obama made me see this.

  • Ed

    I do love our President’s talk – and he walks that talk as well. He is showing us to work and to give and I love that. He might make a bumper sticker I have obolete – “annoy a liberal – work hard and be happy” actully, I beleive that his wife the First Lady might play a big role in that as well. She seems smart and ready to ‘git er done.’

    I personally want to give them a couple of months to adjust to the very different life style that they are experiencing before I start to look to them and fully discuss their merits or downfalls.

    And Kim – parents are very much to blame for the way that children are growing into teens and then into voting age. TV and schools are being given too much weight by parents these days. My wife and I engage our children a couple hours every day regarding school work and good citizanry. Not only that but we volunteer and work with charities to show them that talk is cheap.

  • Cindy

    Good for you Ed on showing your children the importance of volunteering. I do volunteer work myself but haven’t gotten my son into it yet. It’s important and I should follow through.

    I don’t like the bumper sticker. I believe that EVERYONE should be contributing to society and well as working if they can.

    I saw that the first lady is planting a garden. How NORMAL is that. Personally, I can finally connect SOMEHOW with the President and First lady and their family because they do seem to live as normal of a life as they can. The don’t feel “untouchable”.

  • Ed

    I also like that she is involving children from the DC area – this will teach them that hard work (gardening can be tough) will pay off with healthy great tasting vegetables. Nothing beats a tomato fresh off of the plant! A great lesson.

    Cindy – I didn’t think you’d like the bumper sticker – but at least it is less personal than nearly all of the liberal bumpers stickers I see out there.

  • Hi All. Does anyone know if the mandatory paid sick leave was actually re-introduced into Congress this year or if this is just talk within the HR world? I’ve looked and I can’t find where it was actually re-introduced.

  • Say What

    I am all for it. I have represented employees who were forced to use vacation days for sick time. When they get five vacation days a year for two years it is unrealistic to expect the average person to only use five days per year for sick time, personal issues, kids that get sick and, God forbid, some actual vacation time. I think the government is hitting the nail on the head with this one and hopefully it will make companies realize their employees are people too.

  • Lisa M.

    Smaller companies like ours would be in for an additional $45 to $60K per year for Labor costs. This is in addition to now being forced to cover 65% of the COBRA premiums for terminated employees. I don’t want to even touch the topic of the cost increase when you factor in OT labor for the other employees who must them pick up the slack to ensure work gets done when others are out sick … I’ll leave that little pearl or reality out of the mix. I’ll also leave out that sick time is one of the most exploited and abused “benefits” that a company can offer.

    Our company pays 10 vacation days and 13 paid holidays per year, adding 7 more paid days would bring the total paid time off to 30 days per employee per annum. The average employee works 5/2 work week which equals 104 unpaid days off (weekends, etc.) and when you factor in the 30 paid days off each year that equals 134 days off per year. On average, the employee’s would only work 63.3% of the year or 231 days – and only if they didn’t take unpaid time off.

    On top of this, the company pays healthcare, dental and vision benefits … oh, yes, and paid daycare. All of these costs have gone up almost 9% in the past 18 months so the annual paid benefits for the company now top $300k.

    I’m sensing a pattern here … punish success, reward sloth and keep giving more and more for less and less. I thought we wanted companies to stay in business, be successful and keep Americans employed; it looks like we’re now telling them to do it without making a profit.

    Hey, it’s all okay … the companies will fold; the jobs will go to other nations and everyone can live on Government Cheese. Don’t sweat it, our great grandkids will be able to live with it, right?

  • Cindy

    To Lisa:

    Your company is NOT paying the 65%.

  • Cindy

    I agree with Say What…I’ve had to leave my child home sick because I have so little paid time off days. I’ve had to come to work sick because I didn’t want to use vacation time for sick days.

  • Ed

    Say What –

    You are viewing this with the smallest set of blinders in history. OK you do not get the amount of time you would like – we know that. However, there are many companies that do give generous amounts of time off and will be penalized for that by being forced to add seven more days. Care more about the majority of companies than the amountof time you want.

    Heck if the employees there want more time – they should improve their skills and move on.

  • Cindy


    I care about MY employees at MY company. And I think they deserve some sick time.

  • Ed

    Yes you care about your employees at your company but could care LESS about how many jobs are lost at other companies.

    Sure PARTof this bill would be good for employers that do not step up to the plate – but do not force others to add if they have more than seven already.

    How many days should we get by the way? 20, 30 or OH COOL 40!

  • Say What

    I am not viewing it with any blinders. I am an attorney who represents people from all of these fabulous companies that look out for the best interest of their employees. It’s my opnion based on what I see everyday.

    To Lisa: You get a tax credit for every cent you pay for that 65% share of COBRA rates. In the end it costs your company nothing.

  • Cindy

    Ed: You really DO get ridiculous and over the top of these things.

  • Ed

    Say What –

    How manu companies do you see then? Or what part of the Country is this in?

    Every comnpany I have worked for has given more than seven days paid time off for its employees – and I hate to think that some ex-co-workers could lose their jobs to pay for the extra seven days that those companies will have to pay on top of everything else that they already give.

    Hell – even WalMart is pretty generous to its employees (at least at my wife’s store) – she accrues a good amount of paid time off as a part time employee.

    Why the hell can’t any of you that support this agree that companies that already give 7 or more days should not be forced to add seven more on top of their package?

  • Ed

    Cindy –

    How so?

    Just admit that companies that already give more than seven days should not be forced to add to that.

  • Cindy


    Yes…seven days is sufficient.

  • Ed

    Thank You –

    When people say they fully support this they are completely ignoring the companies that give a decent amount of time to their employees.

    I would support a version of this bill that did not force companies to add to what they already offer if it was more than the seven days.

    If any company does not offer at least seven days – that is hard on employees.

    One bit of wisdom – when I do job searches I ALWAYS make sure that the insurance and paid time off match what I am looking for otherwise I do not apply.

    Yes desperate times do call for taking positions that do not match all of our needs – but we should then be looking to move on. NOT just hope they are forced to do more for me.

  • Cindy


    That would be a wrong reason to leave a job. I like working at the company I work for although I feel that it could offer it’s employees better benefits.

    I would hate to leave for benefits alone and end up at a company that I hated working for.

  • Ed

    Cindy –

    I never meant that you leave for that reason alone. BUT if the copmpany does not give those benefits – and I think (not sure) that you have said the company does not care about the employees – that sounds like another reason to leave not too mention that there would be many other reasons that wouold become appearent from a lack of caring from the company.

  • Lisa M.

    Under the stimulus plan, indeed, the employer will cover 65% of the premiums and then they can claim that as an offset against payroll tax liability … this is still a monthly cash payment outgoing and depending on your ratio of tax libailities to write offs; you may see most of that back but most companies will still see a loss (more so in the future as new tax liabilities for businesses are proposed for 2010).

    A very liberal Flex policy is more than fair and allows employees time off for illness and allow them to make up their missed hours without using vacation time or time off unpaid. We all care about our employees however, without profit there is no company or employees to care about. Being in Human Resources means you have to balance employee and employer needs and to be a good steward for both. Caring about the employees doesn’t have to mean sticking it to the employer.

    Yes, it is popular to kick business and chant about how evil they are … until the business closes or moves to a more affordable business environment. Businesses must be allowed to turn a profit or they have to lay people off. Employees must do what they can to ensure the success of the company if they want to ensure their continued employment. Words like “deserve” can be dangerous when bandied about the workforce because the company “deserves” a workforce that is going to show up and actually work for hours paid. It is a two-way street and having the HR rep holding up “One-Way” signs can only lead to trouble ahead.

    Congress gets the Uber-Benefits package for life; and because they’re spending other people’s money, they have no vested interest in making sure benefits are fair to those who must finance them. It is shameful that so many of them vote for things that effect all of us yet never take the time to actually read what they’re passing into law. Forgive me if I don’t believe they have the employees best interest at heart; time and again, they’ve shown that their true interest lies in currying favor of the richest lobby-rats and standing on whichever soapbox will get the the most air-time during elections cycles.

    If we all got what we “deserve”, many would get raises, many more would get sent home for lack of initiative and we’d all have representatives in DC who did the right thing instead of the easiest thing that garners them the most money for themselves.

    Good luck with that!

    “The problem with socialism is that, sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.”
    – Margaret Thatcher

  • Cindy

    To Lisa M.

    You are so ready to put the blame on the worker bees when a business closes. What about these executives who give themselves tremendous wages? Without the employees sweat and hard work, these executives couldn’t live their extravagent life style.

    Are you really that blind to think that these executives aren’t the bigger part of the problem?

    I agree that there has to be a balance in HR in regards to protecting the company and doing what is fair for the employee. From what I see, sometimes HR’s hands are tied on making sure that balance happens. In a lot of companys, HR is still seen as an “administrative” function and has very little input on the more important decisions that affect the entire company.

    PRESIDENT Obama is trying to make sure that companies become more responsible in making sure the company is ran in the best interests of EVERYONE not just the ones at the top.

    I think he is doing a great job. At least we can SEE what he is doing unlike our past president. So far I’ve had no surprises on what he SAID he was going to do and to what he is doing. And there are some things that I DON’T agree with what he is doing. Bush promised so much and delivered nothing but a country with problems and deficit.

  • George

    Cindy –

    Is your income in-line with the folks that clean the offices or work in the lower levels of your organization – or are you paid more than they are?

  • Connie

    I’m not a huge fan of Bush but I am tired of everyone dumping on him – Obama is getting things passed because he has a democrat congress and pretty much senate. Bush did not. I just heard that one of Obama’s aids received several million of the AIG money so I’m happy that my tax money is being so well spent! So if you want to blame Bush remember that for the last 6 years you need to blame the democrat congress too. And careful, we might really be complaining in a few years about all the Obama did!

    Back to subject of paid days off – so if my company already gives 6 days off in PTO time and has a graduated vacation time (in 3 years you get 3 weeks) if this bill is passed today I would have to give an EXTRA 7 days of PTO time for a total of 13 days PTO and I would be legally bound to not change my vacation time.

  • Cindy

    I think everyone is getting worked up over this and the details of the bill could change before it’s passed. It might only affect the companies who have NO PAID SICK DAYS.

  • Say What

    Ed – I am in the midwest and the average of what I see is six paid holidays after 90 days of employment and five vacation days after one year of employment. No personal time. No sick days. That is pretty much average around here. Some companies go to as much as nine paid holidays (adding day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and NY Eve) but most do not. I am sorry but five days off — AFTER one year of employment — is not enough for the average person.

    I hate to be an intellectual snob because I too make typing errors when I am in a hurry but if people want their posts to be taken seriously (Connie), try to sound marginally educated when expressing opinions. We are all supposed to be professionals.

    Oh, and I don’t think 13 days of PTO that needs to be used for family issues, personal issues, medical issues, illnesses, vacations, etc. s too much to ask from a company. Pretty much someone would get one vacation and eight days for ALL the many other things that pop up in life. Gee, that is SO excessive.

  • George

    Say What –

    I think you should start a business. Put your home and cars up as collatteral to a bank for a nice new bussiness loan and start a new business. Hire 5 or six people and give them all the time you are saying the government should mandate. But don’t forget to pay them nearly what you make (or take in from the business) or you will be a “fat cat.”

    Also, in the last ten years how many organizations have you worked for?

    I have worked for four. (Hey good things happen as you complete a B.A and then a Master’s) Each of them offered six paid Holidays after 90 days an average of four paid sick days after those 90 days and five vacation days after six months. That averages out to about 14 hours of paid time off per month – how is that bad?

  • Susan

    To Say What-

    So what do you offer your employees?

  • Susan

    To Say What-

    So what do you offer your employees and how many do you have?

  • Lisa M.

    The proposed bill would hit every company with more than 15 employees … most small businesses have less than 50 and don’t have executives making millions. You make it sound as if all companies make billions and their owners are gazillinaires who step on the necks of the little guy. Almost 75% of independently owned small businesses have less than 50 employees and their management and owners make anywhere from $40K to about $250K depending on the company. Most smaller companies give vacation time and up to 15 paid Holiday per year and now the government is mandating that they offer more *paid* time off?

    The government can’t control itself or its spending and you want them to set the rational guidelines for businesses? Sure, the government gives its employees more paid time than anyone on the planet … it’s not their own money their spending, is it? This fairytale only comes true when business has unlimited budgets and can spend wealth that hasn’t been created yet.

    Sadly, I work in the real world for a real company that has budgets and our executives don’t make millions. Our company has 13 paid Holidays plus 10 days of PTO or vacation per year. Now 23 paid days off isn’t enough, we may have to offer 7 more paid days? We have a generous Flex policy that allows work after hours and on weekends if needed to guarantee that our employees can get their hours so they get a full pay if they have to be off beyond the 23 paid days and weekends their already given.

    Sometimes life is harsh and you have to have a day off without pay. Your job is not a junior soccer league; you don’t get the trophy just for showing up.

  • Lisa M.

    Sorry, Say What, I used “their” instead of “they’re” and didn’t notice it until two seconds after I hit submit.


  • DJ

    The real question at hand is:
    Should government (i.e. Obama) mandate how owners choose to run their business?
    What has happened to free enterprise?
    If an employer does not offer equitable pay/benefits, the company’s bottom line will suffer …
    the opposite is true … if a company pays out more in salary/benefits than it can afford
    it will not prosper.
    I think our representatives (and I use that term loosely) in Washington have enough on their plates, and should not be wasting time on this kind of intrusive legislation.
    Forget personal ideology and party affiliation. Consider the bigger picture.

  • Say What

    Susan – I own my law practice and am the sole attorney here. I have two full time paralegals, one part time that works as-needed because we get so busy and one secretary / receptionist. So I have three full time employees.

    I offer them medical insurance and dental insurance (which I pay 100% of their premiums), a 401K plan, 10 paid holidays (NY Eve, NY Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Friday, Xmas Eve, Xmas Day and one Floating Holiday). The only hourly employee I have where “paid sick days” would affect them (if I had enough employees to implement it) is my secretary. She has been here five years so she is up to three weeks paid vacation and she has four days of “personal / sick time”.

    9 Holidays + 1 Floater + 4 Personal/Sick Days + 15 Vacation Days = 29 Paid Days Off Per Year. Not a bad deal.

    However, if I had to add three more days to her time it would not be a big deal to me. If I had 50 employees I would still think they deserve the same deal. People need time off. Work is NOT their life, nor should it be. Family comes first. God, Family, Career – in that order. If you don’t believe in the first one, fine. Family then Career – in that order.

  • Connie

    Dear Say What:

    Excuse me I don’t know what I did or say to upset you – marginally educated? I have a BS in Finance, minor in accounting, psychology, and economics and I am working on my MBA and all of my degrees are from top 10 rated (in business) universities.

    Sorry about my typing error.

    Read my post again and you will see that within three years of working at my company an employee receives 3 weeks in vacation. After 1 year they get 1 week vacation, 2 years of work 2 weeks of vacation and after 3 years of work 3 years vacation. After 90 days of working an employee gets 45 hours of PTO time – PTO is different than vacation time, on their anniversary date they get another 45 hours. All PTO time that is not used in the employees year gets rolled over into a long term PTO time to be used for … long term illness and such. Regular PTO time is used how ever you want to use it, sick, sick child, want to leave early, need a day off and have used up vacation time… We also have paid holidays off. Also at my company after 10 years of employment you get an additional 20 days as a gift. We only have 30 employees so I think we are pretty generous. GEE I don’t think I was SAYING anything – I was ASKING if I was understanding the bill. GEE you are a bit defensive.

    Since I work for a benefit company I will give you credibility on the 65% COBRA cost – government will be reimbursing the company for the 65% amount. Also if you have a trust COBRA costs can just come out of that trust money.

    So, again, my question is – under this bill will this now give them an extra 7 days PTO time for a total of 13 days of PTO time or will I just need to add an extra day to my policy.

    So, again, my question is – under this bill will this now give them an extra 7 days PTO time or will I just need to add an extra day to my policy.

  • Beatty

    Say What,
    Can I come work for you? 🙂
    You are much more generous than my current company. We have 73 employees (counting the partners). I miss working for smaller companies but needed benefits. It sounds like you offer both.

    I believe if you do not have designated “sick” days, you would have to add the extra 7 days as sick. However, I do not know for sure that a bill has actually even been introduced recently. I wonder where Ed is today? He might know more.

  • Ed

    Say What –

    You have earned a whole new level of respect from me. You do an amazing thing for your employees. But you missed something –

    God, – Country, – Family, career 😉

  • Ed

    Beatty –

    I am here 🙂

    There is no bill that is currently on the table. But – Senator Kennedy introduced one a number of months ago that would require an add of 7 days – BUT companies could NOT reduce other benefits to compensate – they would have to simply add to their current package.

  • Say What

    Connie – No, you did not upset me. I was merely making an observation and you posting your most impressive educational resume makes my comments even more valid. Kind of like the kid who graduates from high school and still can’t read. Spelling errors are no big deal. We all do it. The constant grammar problems peeve me, I admit. I apologize for calling you out. If I get called out, I don’t get defensive. Nobody on here knows me, my life, my education, my political views, etc. Your post just happened to catch my eye. What usually peeves me even more are people that spout off about government conpiracies and socialism and companies that are spic-and-span perfect, etc. They just make me glad I own my business and do not have to answer to some of the horrid people that post on these boards.

  • Connie

    And – we also have 401(k) and we match up to 3% and we pay 80% health benefits and pay weekly.

  • Say What

    Sorry – I did forget to mention that I match 100% of the 401K up to 6% of their gross pay each week. I do pay weekly and do direct deposit (all but one likes direct deposit). I also have a summer boat outing for the employees and their significant others, a Christmas party, a 4th of July fireworks display AND we partipate in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light the Night walk, the Race For the Cure, donate to and support the humane society (and their events), sponsor the humane society animals Christmas party, do an annual food drive for our local food pantry AND donate Easter baskets to children in the foster child system that are not placed with families. WHEW!! Do I sound like some of these other perfect people on here? 🙂 Sorry…it’s Friday. I am wiped out.

  • Susan

    To Say What-
    You do offer great benefits but you have one error in your comment – IF you had enough employees to be affected by this proposed law, you would have to add 7 sick days, not just 3. Maybe that’s not a big deal to you, but for the small/mid-sized construction company I work for, with 43 employees, it is a big deal. Competition is fierce with many companies bidding at cost and even below cost just to keep the doors open. If a mandated sick leave policy is passed, the very small companies will not be affected. The companies that will be affected will find it even harder to be competitive. We specialize in a particular segment of the construction industry with very little competition. For years we have had that advantage but now other companies are seeing the one viable market and are jumping on the bandwagon. I don’t disagree with employees having sick days, I do disagree with adding 7 days to whatever a company offers if it is less than that. (We offer 5 days, btw) So that would make 12 sick days, not 7. Major difference when it comes to bidding our jobs…

  • Ed

    Say What –

    If all you say is true – then –

    Best employer of the year award would fall short of recognizing you and all that you do. Your employees are truly blessed as you must be to be able to offer all that you do.

    I hope you are not blowing smoke because you have made my day.

  • Lisa M.

    I think there are a lot of smaller firms that offer wonderful benefits, and it looks like Say What offers a lot to be proud of. Our company does have 401K and matches up to 5%, all employees over 18 can join after 90 days of work and are 100% vested instantly. Our employees have paid benefits (health, dental & vision) and we’re the only business in our county that offers paid daycare. Our owners give us a Holiday Party like no other each year in a very nice resort. They cover the cost of the Hotel for 1 night and employees get the discount rate if they wish to stay an extra night. The banquet lasts about 7 hours total because it is dancing and partying all night long.

    Employees start earning their 10 paid vacation days the moment they start and all benefits begin after 90 days – the 13 paid holidays are instantly granted as they happen. The pay is par for the area however the bonuses are not. We have 64 employees and we gave out over $220k in bonuses last year and not a penny of that went to the CEO or COO. Our owners have a mission that all their employees succeed and prosper; they bring in financial advisors in to train us on how to grow our wealth and handle money wisely so we can all retire with over a million dollars.

    It is very upsetting to think that anyone in government would not consider that enough then make broad and sweeping mandates that would affect the bottom line of a company like ours. When people are out sick, there work isn’t on hold, it has to be completed, we have deadlines. If this bill ever passed, we’d have to pay for the person who wasn’t at work and not productive then pay a coworker overtime to stay and do the absent employees work to meet the deadlines. That means we’re paying double time and a half for the same amount of work.

    That is bad business and explains a lot about government spending.

  • Connie

    Say What – my company does all the charity work too, and donates to every athletic league, and pays for several parties during the year, and I’ll give you that I’m sure your boat is bigger than mine and probably a lot newer – you’re a saint, you win, God loves everything you say and do. But, you were the one that insinuated that my company was insensitive:

    You typed:
    “Oh, and I don’t think 13 days of PTO that needs to be used for family issues, personal issues, medical issues, illnesses, vacations, etc. s too much to ask from a company. Pretty much someone would get one vacation and eight days for ALL the many other things that pop up in life. Gee, that is SO excessive.”

    I had to defend my company after your comment, especially since I am in the Midwest.

    Now I must get back to my Dick and Jane reader – I’m up to chaper 2!!

  • Cindy

    To say what

    Can I come work for you? I like your benefits!!

  • Ed

    Cindy –

    You’ll have to move to the Midwest –

    Plus, Say What will need more lawyers – so that he can increase his business to the point that he would need to hire more people – his current empoyees couldn’t possibly want to leave – who the heck would?

    And to all of you (this includes me) think like this – “God, please make my words sweet and tender, for tomorrow I may have to eat them.” Not sure where I heard that but I really like it – it is not my wisdom unfortunately.

  • Say What

    First – funny how you all assume “Say What” is male. Guess what? You are wrong!

    Second – I am not a saint…by any stretch. Every single day I see people getting the shaft from their employers. As my firm has grown I have made it my goal to make sure that none of my employees would ever even want to say that about working for me. None of this happened overnight. I have worked my tail off to have what I have and rather than sit in some fat cat penthouse and drive a Bentley, I choose to share what I have accomplished with my employees because they work just as hard as I do. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t work for me. Period.

    I don’t offer benefits or get involved with charities to win awards or receive accolades or to be labeled a saint. I do what I do because I can, I believe in it and I believe that a company’s employees make the company successful. They should be treated as such.

  • Say What

    Connie – You didn’t need to defend anything…unless you feel the need to be defensive. Someone asked me where I was located and I responded with the Midwest. I am not sure if you are aware of this but the “Midwest” is a pretty big place. It could be a huge metropolis like Chicago, Illinois or something slightly smaller. It could be Omaha, Nebraska, Des Moines, Iowa, Cincinnatti, Ohio, or even Winchestertonfieldville. The Midwest is pretty expansive so I am sure your need to get defensive, once again, was fairly unnecessary. Maybe you should put down your Dick and Jane and try a Rand McNally.

  • Ed

    Ouch –

    Hey now people – I have not always been nice – but I have decided that I should always – put the best foot forward.

    This is a great prayer and somthing I am going to try and consider from now on before I open my mouth to converse. “God make my words sweet and tender, for tomorrow I may have to eat them.”

    Something to think about – enough stress and trouble in the world as it is –

  • Cindy


    Not all companies give adequate time off.

  • Cindy

    to say what:

    I knew you were a female. I could just tell.

  • Ed

    Say What –

    I apologize for the generalization – kinda like back in the day a car was called a “she” or when Captain Kirk asked Scotty to give him more power and Scotty replied “She can’t take any more Captain”.

    I meant no insult – but by the tone of your response, I can see that you were. There was only one mention of gender and it was I – so there was no “You all” component in this. Using a non-gender specific moniker can sometimes lead to an incorrect generalization.

  • Say What

    Ed – I wasn’t offended. I was humored. When most people think of an attorney they automatically think of a man. Kind of like a fire fighter, police officer or electrician! I don’t take any offense. Now if you all had my picture and still assumed I was male, then I may be a tad bit offended!!

    I agree that offering employees paid sick days does throw people into a tizzy. I am not sure how that will work in the end (if it even happens). I know you can’t change your current paid leave policies but I would imagine that if you already offer paid sick days (like say five), then you would only have to add two more. I think they just don’t want companies that currently offer 10 days of vacation to knock their vacation days down in order to make room for paid sick days. I would imagine (of course you never know with the government) that they just want people to have seven paid days of sick leave, period. If they already get five I don’t think they would make compaies give 12. I could be wrong on that though. You have to take into consideration that many times, as we all know, some of these things don’t get thought through very well before it’s implemented. It sounds like a wonderful idea at the time but unless they think through every possible scenario it just doesn’t work in the “real world”. Even some of the new ARRA COBRA stipulations were poorly thought out…or just not thought out at all!

  • Ed

    Ever since Ally McBeal – OK I wont go there 😉

    Just keeping it light and silly!

  • Another HR Opinion

    Everyone is worrying for nothing.

    So what if Obama requires us to ensure we have 7 days of paid sick leave. Your great employees will still be great, your good will still be good, and your bad will quickly become very visible. I don’t say that because the “bad” will use the time; I say that because they will use the time incorrectly. Those same employees are also the ones that milk their time in other ways.

    Employees that always get the job done will still do that. Those same employees are probably those that get more than their job done on a regular basis and susually arrive at work 5-15 minutes before their start time and often times stay 5-15 minutes after (if not longer) and may at times, skip their lunch or shorten it. Whether that caliber of employee is hourly or not doesn’t change the fact he/she more than likely puts in a lot more than 40 hours worth of work each week.

    Employees that will use every one of those sick days, plus all their leave, plus any personal days, plus holidays, who have given every excuse in the book for being late, leaving early or not returning from lunch on time will still be that employee. Yes, he/she just received a total of 7 days to skip work. If you have employees like this – shame on you for not getting rid of them before because they are also the employees that you can never find (because he/she is getting this or that), that has to use the restroom 50 times a day, is always talking to another co-worker, or is getting far too many phone calls. If you have these employees you are already losing money on top of the damage it does to moral and work ethic amongst the “good and great” employees. Again, shame on you for not getting rid of that person earlier.

    The bill would force you to offer a total of 7 days, not add 7 to whatever you have. We do not offer any sick days at all or any other days for anything outside of personal leave. The amount of paid personal leave we offer is generous though and fully explain upon hire that it encompasses every personal need for time away from work (sick, personal holidays, vacation….etc.) hence, why it is so generous to begin with. If we have to add 7 official “sick” days, then we will. If that is something we do not want to be forced to do, it is up to us to modify our leave policy now by breaking it down into specific groups. Not a big deal.

    Hire the right people, treat them with respect and dignity, understand their is a personal life outside of work (which is why we work – to afford our personal life) and you will find the right people will give you just as much in return. If they don’t, they weren’t the right people to begin with (which means that yes, you have to evaluate your screening and hiring………ouch).

  • Jackie F

    I work in a factory around machines all day,not good if you are sick, in our company we do not get sick days paid or not if we are sick we have to work period. we are on a point system also so, if you are sick you get a point, 7 points and you are fired. you get vacation days that you can use if you are sick so you can still get paid but you still get a point so,… you loose a vacation day and still get written up. We would be happy to just get the sick days with no pay and not get written up.

  • LynnB

    I find it interesting that no one has mentioned that mandatory sick leave is currently in effect in 3 cities (which were cited in the article). I work close to San Francisco (one of the cities that now has mandatory sick leave), and I have not heard of any companies going “under” as a result of this requirement. Employees are “people”–and there are always some who abuse any benefit. Perhaps before getting into “doom and gloom” mode, some research might be useful to see what is happening in these cities? Just a thought.

  • frustrated employee

    Too often, businesses think only of the bottom line, and not of the hard working dedicated employees who help to make that happen. I work for a company that offers vacation pay (1 week after 1 year, 2 weeks after 2 years, and 3 weeks after 10 years) and paid holidays, among other incentives, but does not offer personal or sick leave. Not only do they not offer sick pay, but we are not allowed to use vacation time in place of sick pay. If we call in sick, we take that time off without pay. Most of us live paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford the lost wages, so we all come to work sick….and make everyone else sick.
    As if losing a day’s pay isn’t bad enough, it is also considered an infraction – a “failure to comply” – and the absence is reflected in our peformance evaluation at the end of the year. Yet they can make us take mandatory days off, require us to use up our vacation time to cover it, so that we don’t get infractions, but when we need that time for things such as Dr. appointments, they won’t allow us to dip into our accrued vacation – vacation earned before it is awarded at the end of the year.

    On the flipside, however, requiring small businesses (under 100 employees) to provide paid sick leave is not fair, especially when it would likely cause financial hardship.

  • Solomon

    Hell NO!!! Not in this life. People are already screwing up businesses. Why should we allow for more corruption and abuse in the work place. This is not god for business and it will become an abuse by employee. Ok, enough with the socialist ideas. You sick congress and Senate are literally destroying this nation.

  • Cindy

    to ANother HR Opinion:

    A great post and so true. People will abuse time off whether the have paid sick time or not. We don’t have any sick days here and no personal but there are still some who abuse time off.

    It’s ridiculous that an employer does not offer at least three days of sick time. I see way too many employees here coming in when they should be home. We offered accrued sick leave at the hospital where I worked last. Even though we offered sick time, if you abused it, you got written up so it was never that big of an issue.

  • R. B.

    Lots of interesting comments on this. Many issues.

    While I’m sympathetic to employees who need time off due to illness (either themselves or a family member), I also realize you can’t keep requiring businesses who are already having a difficult time competing globally due to high labor and labor-related costs in America to pay out more and more and more in employee benefits. There has to be a balance and some offset for businesses or they are going to go under. We are seeing it every day! Jobs are shifting to countries where the labor costs are low because the government doesn’t protect their employees or environment in any way. I DO NOT condone poor treatment of employees (or the environment), but the fact is, some businesses simply can’t afford to pay, give, pay some more. Oh, and those taxes that the current administration PROMISED weren’t going to go up (I believe a reduction was promised?)…they’re going up big time! And things that haven’t been taxed before…they’re talking about removing some of the few tax benefits that currently remain in place and greatly help employees AND employers. I firmly believe in being fair to employees, giving them as much and as many benefits as can be afforded, and in being compassionate when they are navigating through difficult times. But it’s unrealistic to expect every business to take the kind of hits the current administration is proposing or requiring and to also expect them to stay in business. No easy answers here, but the government needs to bow out unless the issue is truly mistreatment of the employee. Some of those laws that protect us are necessary. Beyond that, they need to butt out. Government shouldn’t be running free enterprise. When that happens, we no longer have a democracy. Just my two cents…for whatever it’s worth…