Bernie: Walmart's New Sick Leave Is a Decent Start But...

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Posted: Feb 04, 2019 6:30 PM
Bernie: Walmart's New Sick Leave Is a Decent Start But...

Walmart recently announced a new benefit structure that rewards employees who miss very few days of work. Under the current structure, employees can miss nine unexcused absences every six months. The new policy drops the unexcused absences to five every six months. 

According to CNN Business, employees also have six days a year of "protected PTO," which can be used to cover unexcused absences. Those paid time off days won't count against the employee's attendance record though. 

This new plan allows employees to take six paid days off a year and still qualify for the attendance bonus, as long as they don't dip into those five unexcused absence days.

The company estimates that 300,000 current part-time and full-time employees would qualify for the bonus under the new structure. 

Last year, Walmart increased its minimum wage to $11 an hour and expanded paid maternity and paternity leave for full-time employees. 

The company has also implemented a new scheduling system to provide employees with a schedule further in advance and the ability to swap shifts, something they believe has helped drop their turnover rate to the lowest rate in five years. 

Although Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) applauded the big box store's paid sick leave plan, he didn't feel it was enough. In his eyes, Walmart employees should be making at least $15 an hour and receive "good benefits," whatever that means.

People like Bernie Sanders fail to understand the economic impact of decisions like a forced minimum wage. When minimum wage goes up for basic services, the cost associated with goods and services goes up as well. It doesn't mean that people are suddenly making more money. On paper, they may be making more but in reality, they're making the same when goods and services go up along with wage increases. It's a catch-22 and something progressives hate to admit (or acknowledge).