Paid sick leave likely makes business sense for most companies—which is why the overwhelming majority already provide this benefit. But we need to carefully examine what the implication of a new sick-leave mandate would be for those companies that don’t already provide paid leave.
Do politicians like Governor Malloy really presume to know best how each and every business should structure employment compensation packages for their workers? Can they really guarantee that this new mandate won’t force struggling businesses to find other ways to trim costs, like firing workers? Can they ensure that the same workers who they are trying to protect won’t face the much harsher outcome of unemployment as a result of their government activism?
In the end, the debate about the paid-sick leave mandate is really about who should be in control of the decisions that businesses make. Who should decide how to structure compensation packages: government officials or employers and workers?
Governor Malloy and his allies in the Connecticut state legislature likely think they are being compassionate by trying to make it illegal for certain employers to offer jobs that do not provide paid time off. But since the end result may be higher unemployment and fewer new job opportunities across the state, this is compassion that Connecticut’s 170,000 unemployed workers can do without.