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Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:01 AM

Meet the Heartless Jerk Leading a Project to Eliminate Sick Leave

http://www.alternet.org/economy/meet-heartless-jerk-leading-project-eliminate-sick-leave




Opponents of paid sick leave, like opponents of raising the minimum wage, tend to keep their arguments data-free, sticking to vague claims of how bad it would be for small business, no evidence offered. But every now and then they decide to try to make their arguments look factual. Look being the key word. That's the story with the latest from one of Rick Berman's many front groups, the Employment Policies Institute, a laughably weak (PDF) "pilot study of businesses' responses" to Connecticut's paid sick leave law that completely ignores the actual facts of what's happened in Connecticut's economy since the law was passed.
The Berman EPI, which just happens to share its initials with the Economic Policy Institute, a reputable and widely cited progressive think tank, would like the takeaway from its pilot study to be that, because of Connecticut's paid sick leave law, businesses are raising prices, laying off workers, and curtailing hiring or expansion in the state. The real takeaway, of course, is that even when they try to make themselves look like they care about facts, anti-worker astroturf organizations can't do any better than a weak truthiness. Take the methodology here. Evil-EPI sent a survey to "roughly 800" of the businesses "most likely to be impacted by the law." The response rate was below 20 percent, so basically, we're talking about the most pissed off fraction of the small fraction of business owners identified as probably caring about this law. And, predictably, they see dire, dire consequences for paid sick leave.

The reality? Employment in the two industry sectors most likely to be affected by the sick leave law rose in Connecticut in 2012. Just as, following the passage of a paid sick leave law in San Francisco (PDF), that city did better than the surrounding counties on several employment measures.

Another reality is this: In March, 2011, the owner of the U.S.S. Chowder Pot restaurants testified before the state legislature that if paid sick leave became law, "I would be forced to close both restaurants resulting in a loss of approximately 240 full time and part time jobs." Today, both restaurants are hiring. Similarly, one of the partners in The Hartford Restaurant Group, hitting the small business angle hard despite his company owning eight restaurants, said paid sick leave was "unreasonable and not practical, and most likely would stunt any growth opportunities." You know, growth like opening another restaurant and buying a large building for storage and corporate offices, which The Hartford Restaurant Group has done.

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Meet the Heartless Jerk Leading a Project to Eliminate Sick Leave (Original post)
xchrom Feb 2013 OP
gtar100 Feb 2013 #1
sendero Feb 2013 #2
peacebird Feb 2013 #3
sendero Feb 2013 #4
Arkansas Granny Feb 2013 #5
sendero Feb 2013 #7
baldguy Feb 2013 #6
sendero Feb 2013 #8
dkf Feb 2013 #13
Bosso 63 Feb 2013 #9
marmar Feb 2013 #10
xchrom Feb 2013 #11
Honeycombe8 Feb 2013 #12
duffyduff Feb 2013 #15
littlewolf Feb 2013 #14
mzteris Feb 2013 #16
prole_for_peace Feb 2013 #17
stevenleser Feb 2013 #18
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #19
one_voice Feb 2013 #20
littlewolf Feb 2013 #21
Initech Feb 2013 #22
SayWut Feb 2013 #23

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:26 AM

1. Until we have an economic system that rewards innovation and compassionate values, we will be stuck

with these assholes that get rewarded for being selfish, greedy pricks. It's a systemic problem.

(btw, that's not a good picture to lead off with after that headline... just saying.)

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:32 AM

2. Sick leave.....

... has been dying a long time. My company does not offer it, nor do they offer vacation. Instead, you get a blanket number of days for the year to be off work, no need to say why.

I prefer this strategy on several levels, and trust me, this is where it is going. I get a quite generous number of days a year (over 25) plus I get 10 holiday days. Hard to get indignant about that.

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Response to sendero (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:41 AM

3. I would prefer sick leave, and that co-workers remained home when they are sick instead of feeling

Like they have to come to work.

They come in carrying the latest plague, and in the following weeks more and more co-workers get sick.

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Response to peacebird (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:49 AM

4. Sick leave is dying..

... because it gets abused. Everyone, including myself, has called in sick when there was really another reason I needed to miss work. I will trade my 5 days of sick leave + 10 days of vacation for 25 days of whatever any time.

With 25 days of PTO there is no excuse to come to work sick, people do that because they are arrogant or stupid, not because they don't get enough paid time off.

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Response to sendero (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:44 AM

5. I don't know the people you work with, but the people

I work with come to work sick because they cannot afford to lose a day or more of pay. When a lost day of work results in a 20 percent cut in pay for that week, people will continue to come to work sick.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:02 AM

7. Fair enough...

.... I agree with you. But remember, most low-paid workers don't get ANY sick leave, PTO or anything. So it's not really a part of the OPs point.

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Response to sendero (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:59 AM

6. Maybe people need more paid time off.

In Europe, the average vacation time is 25-30 days, in addition to paid sick leave. They treat it as a benefit provided by the govt, rather than a largess granted to you by your employer.

For example, in Sweden the average vacation time is 33 days, and the govt pays for 80% of your income for the for 364 days after the first day and 75% for a further maximum 550 days.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacation_time
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sick_leave

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Response to baldguy (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:06 AM

8. That would be nice and this is well known..

.... but I don't see the cultural shift required to make that happen coming to the US soon. American workers are masochists, taught by corporations and thier lapdog media that you are lucky to have a job at all so don't rock the boat.

As the original discussion I believe the death of "sick days" is no big deal it is being replaced by something better that makes it easier for companies to predict their turnout while making it easier for workers to not be liars.

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Response to sendero (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:01 AM

13. That's how mine works too.

 

But taking all those days is too difficult anyway. The workload won't allow for it.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:27 AM

9. "growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of a cancer cell".

Edward Abby

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:38 AM

10. "unreasonable and not practical, and most likely would stunt any growth opportunities."


Yes, let's have sick food handlers cough flu viruses all over the customers' meals. ...... The joys of the corporate state.

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Response to marmar (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:50 AM

11. +1

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:52 AM

12. FMLA doesn't apply to small businesses. Small businesses don't have to provide ANY sick leave.

So if a business DOES have to give FMLA and sick leave, it's not a small business.

Small businesses, true small businesses, are usually protected from labor laws and other regulations, recognizing that they operate on a shoe string budget, unlike larger businesses.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #12)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:31 AM

15. Companies and public entities widely abuse FMLA

You'd be amazed at how often people are fired because they dared to use something that is supposedly to be federally protected.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:07 AM

14. when I worked for the state

we got vacation and sick time. however they would not let you take vacation "because we are so short staffed" so at the end of the year
your vacation time (which if you quit they had to pay you for.) rolled over into sick time which they did not have to pay you for if you quit.
on the upside if you stuck around for 20 plus years and retired
you could use your sick time to gain extra time. I worked there 10 years and lost 900 hours of sick time.

also people called in sick all the time because management would not grant vacation. local drs. knew this and would ask you how much time do you want off, and write the note.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:57 AM

16. When my co first started

a few years ago, there were only a few of us in the office - so no policy.

Now there are over 20 in the office alone, and we were planning to implement a PTO plan. For those who don't know what PTO plan - it's as the poster above stated - you get a set number of days - WITH PAY to take off, no questions asked. Eliminates people lying about being sick, ya know?

Anyway - after further consideration, we decided to keep it the way it is. No policy. You're sick. Stay home. You have something you need to do? Go do it. You want to take a vacation? Take it. Just let people know. Plan to have your work covered if necessary.

We are a "task oriented" - or "performance based" organization. You have a job to do. You do it. Set your own schedule, come in late. Work late. Leave early. Take a long lunch. Go to the doctor in the middle of the day. Work on the weekend. Work from home. We don't care as long as the job is done. No questions asked.

If the time ever comes someone is "abusing" the situation - or their job isn't being completely satisfactorily, then we'll have to have a chat. If that doesn't work, then we'd probably have to have some type of "warning" system - (note to self - write one up) - in place up to and including termination. But it hasn't happened, and probably won't. For a while anyway until we get REALLY big (which at the rate we're going . . . )

Our consultants in the field are another matter. They don't bill, they don't get paid - that's the contract. They receive a high percentage of what is billed and are paid ungodly amounts of money. (You don't want to know...) They understand the system and how it works and sign on to it. They know that's why they're paid so much. We are also very generous with their unpaid time off while still maintaining employee status (benefits, etc). arranging for work from home, etc. So we have very very very little turnover - and that for reasons unrelated to wanting to work for "us".

I am unabashedly proud of our environment and the way we treat our employees like responsible adults. In HR, I consider my people my "customers" so I provide the most excellent customer service I can. They can get another job in their field in a nanosecond so I make sure that "brand loyalty" is not comprised.

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Response to mzteris (Reply #16)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:31 PM

17. About 2 years ago my firm combined sick and vacation into PTO

and I thought it would be a better deal since I get migraines a few times a month.

Well in the first evaluation I had after the switch to PTO I got dinged on taking too much "unscheduled" PTO. So I had to inform them that what they are calling "unscheduled PTO" I call BEING SICK!!!

They were assholes and I am glad that I recently left there and went to another firm that (I have been told by co-workers) much more understanding of reasons for time off.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:37 PM

18. My situation is similar to sendero's. I have 30 days of Paid Time off and 10 Holidays

I can take 6 of the Paid Time Off Days, one at a time, with no explanation or advanced notice.

It works better for me than separate sick leave and vacation, but I am not sure it is better policy. One thing I have noticed is that people tend to come in if they are sick because they want to preserve their vacation days. They then infect the whole group.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:42 PM

19. kr

 

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:53 PM

20. Sick days...

or just a set number of days of a year--which can be used if you're sick isn't the problem, taking them and keeping your job is.

When you call out or even take a vacay many employers look down on it and you. You're expected to work as if you own the company or else you're easily replaced. Until this changes you can have 100 sick days and 8 weeks vacation, doesn't matter, taking them puts your job in jeopardy.

We've turned our work force into acceptable slaves, for lack of a better term. I'm sure someone else can put this into better words, I'm not very good at it.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:29 PM

21. I guess I am very lucky then

I work as a contractor, I get 144 hours of PTO a year.
I work 12 hour days, 15 days a month.
they have no problem with you taking days off.
calls out, is a bit of a problem, as long as you give them
a few hours notice they don't mind. but calling out 30 minutes
before shift, once no problem, after that they will have a chat
with you. I work security and those posts have to be filled, so
people have to be called in or someone volunteer to work OT.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:38 PM

22. Selfish greedy assholes are walking all over us. When are we going to stop this?

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:42 PM

23. *Facepalm*

 

"Another reality is this: In March, 2011, the owner of the U.S.S. Chowder Pot restaurants testified before the state legislature that if paid sick leave became law, "I would be forced to close both restaurants resulting in a loss of approximately 240 full time and part time jobs." Today, both restaurants are hiring. Similarly, one of the partners in The Hartford Restaurant Group, hitting the small business angle hard despite his company owning eight restaurants, said paid sick leave was "unreasonable and not practical, and most likely would stunt any growth opportunities." You know, growth like opening another restaurant and buying a large building for storage and corporate offices, which The Hartford Restaurant Group has done.".

Wonderful, the one environment where sick, ill employes shouldn't be at work, and they want to
create a situation where the employee has one of two choices; show up to work sick, or take the day off and lose pay.
How do they think their customers will react when their server has a runny nose and coughing?

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