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Mandated Sick Leave

Update 1: Ohio Issue 4 was taken off the ballot for 2008. However, mandatory sick pay is still being pushed for on the federal level.

It started in San Francisco; next Teddy Kennedy picked up on it. Now labor unions are pouring their general funds into this idea: mandatory paid sick days.

The Act (expected to be on the Ohio ballot in November) would force businesses with 25 or more workers to provide employees that work full-time (32 hours a week) to earn 7 rollover paid sick days per year.

"On it's face, that sounds pretty compassionate...but what bothers me is that you put a beautiful flag on this and you call it "Healthy Families Act", but you don't talk about the unintended consequences," said Dr. David Zanotti, President of the American Policy Roundtable.

Government control

Putting it very simply: there are somethings that laws ought not to be written about.

This is not the concept of sick pay between an employee and an employer, we're talking about state law coming in and taking the right to negotiate away from the employee and the employer, and transferring the authority to the state and state courts.

And most companies already have sick-day policies, anyways.

No one wants an employee to come to work with an illness, especially one that’s communicable. But we live and work in a free market system. It is not the proper role of government to mandate the type of benefits that businesses, small and large, must give their employees.

It's pure politics.

So what's the agenda behind the ballot issue? This is a way to drive turnout toward a ballot issue in such a fashion that a candidate that agrees with a socialistic agenda will get more votes then one who doesn't.

It's nothing more then a political stunt.

Questions about the Economy

Not only that, "Ohio Healthy Families Act" would be terrible for business, in other words it would terrible for families.

According to the Toledo Blade, "The 2008 State Business Tax Climate Index ranked Ohio in the bottom five of “business-friendly” states. Curtis Dubay, a co-author of the study said, “States need to constantly be on the lookout for ways to improve their business tax climates."

If you want a family-friendly state, you need a state that first has jobs for those families — not laws that drive businesses — and eventually families — away.

Every time you penalize the men or the women who sign the check...guess who gets it in the neck eventually? Employees and consumers like you and me.

Given this mandate, companies may be compelled to reduce or eliminate other innovative benefits, which are not directly tied to paid leave, such as medical benefits, childcare reimbursement programs, short or long term disability coverage, college scholarships, etc.

Rob Walgate, Vice President of the Ohio Roundtable stated, "Someone has to pay for this - and it's going to be all of us....Ohio already isn't a business friendly state, and this is one more way for Ohio to become a less business friendly state."

More information on Ohio Issue 4: the Ohio Healthy Families Act

Helpful Resources:

Healthy Families Act Language

Testimony before the Ohio House Commerce and Labor Committee