Labor and Public Employees Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-913

Title:

AN ACT MANDATING EMPLOYERS PROVIDE PAID SICK LEAVE TO EMPLOYEES.

Vote Date:

3/3/2011

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/1/2011

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Working Families Party

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill provides paid sick leave benefits to those employees who do not currently have paid sick leave.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Connecticut Department of Labor:

Commissioner Glenn Marshall spoke in support of the bill. Every full time working person should have access to this benefit. Paid sick leave affects those employers that have been able to absorb a short term absence of an employee under the federal and state FMLA. This concept will help promote a safe and healthy workplace.

State of Connecticut Office of the Comptroller:

State Comptroller Kevin Lembo presented written testimony in support of the bill. Through this legislation an estimated 257,000 workers representing 18% of the private workforce would be eligible for paid sick days. As a public health issue this would have a profound impact on containing the spread of illness between co-workers and others in contact with a sick employee. This legislation would provide for a healthier Connecticut work force.

Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW):

The commission testified that passage of this bill would positively impact the 550,000 employees in Connecticut that do not have access to a single day of paid sick leave. The lack of paid sick leave spans across all age brackets and effects all women whether pregnant, mothers or those caring for elderly parents.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney, 11th District:

Senator Looney testified in support of the bill. Offering paid sick time benefits the employers as well as the employees. A sick worker is detrimental to the workers themselves and also to co-workers and the general public. Workers who cannot remain at home when ill can increase healthcare costs and create economic losses for the both the employee and the employer. The requirements of this legislation are modest and are not unreasonably burdensome on business and will keep our citizens healthier and their lives more stable.

Speaker of the House Christopher G. Donovan, 84th District:

Speaker Donovan submitted testimony in support of the bill. From a public health point of view staying home when you or your children are sick is just common sense. The majority of Connecticut employees have paid sick leave. It is often difficult for many for those who lack access to paid sick time to stay home. The United States is one of the few industrialized countries that does not permit employees access to time off without jeopardizing their jobs.

Representative Mary M. Mushinsky, 85th District:

Representative Mushinsky testified that paid sick leave is a progressive measure that is overdue. Many Connecticut families are headed by a single parent and not having paid sick leave increases the stress of choosing between the risk of being fired or recovering from their own illness or that of a family member. The bill exempts part time teachers in the state higher education system and I would urge the committee to remove this exemption.

Representative Roland J. Lemar, 96th District:

Representative Lemar testified that everyone gets sick and not everyone has the time to get better. An estimated 600, 000 workers in Connecticut lack paid sick days. When workers don't have access to paid sick days staying home means the loss of a paycheck and possibly a job. A stable and strong economy depends on a secure, healthy and productive work force.

Connecticut Working Families Party:

Michael Winterfield testified in support of the bill. Paid Sick Days are an important health care benefit. The net costs are negligible and they make good business sense. Paid sick days would be offset by lower employee turnover and greater productivity. Most workers do not abuse their sick days and hold on to a decent job and know that they need to save their sick time for when they are actually sick.

Donna Levitt, Manager, Office of Labor Standards Enforcement – City and County of San Francisco:

Donna Levitt, Manager, submitted testimony on San Francisco's adoption of PSLO. She stated that she was unaware of any employer who reduced staff because of the new policy and how smoothly the implementation progressed. Because of the new policy they were in a unique positioned to deal with the H1N1 crisis.

Connecticut Chapter of the National Organization for Women:

NOW submitted testimony on the importance of working mothers not having to be put in the situation of choosing between going to work and sending a sick child to school or daycare. Women who do not have paid sick leave jeopardize their own health and that of her loved ones.

AFSCME Council 4

Brian Anderson testified for the bill. Economic benefits aside this is a common sense bill.

Public safety is at stake. When workers report to work ill they spread the sickness and it becomes a reoccurring cycle. Research shows that granting sick days benefits workers, employers and our society in the long run.

U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce:

Margot Dorfman, CEO, submitted testimony that the issue of paid sick days is not a clear cut struggle between business owners and the labor force. We have a 21st century workforce in which women having advance in the workforce are often caught between the needs of work and the family. Paid sick days are an investment in our families, our workforce and our health.

Association of School Nurses of Connecticut:

School Nurse Donna Kosiorowski submitted testimony in support of the bill. Data from the Institute for Women's Policy Research indicates that almost half of workers do not have paid sick days. As a school nurse she sees parents sending their sick children to school and when the nurse calls them they are hoping that the boss will let them leave work. Sick children many times wait hours for parents who cannot leave work. Parents have cried over being unable to come for their sick child for fear of being fired.

Jennifer C. Jaff, Executive Director, Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness, Inc.

Jennifer C. Jaff, Executive Director submitted testimony on how half of Americans have at least one chronic health condition and without paid sick day they may lose their job because of this health condition. To people with chronic health conditions paid sick days are essential.

Jose Ortiz, President, Hispanic Health Council:

President Jose Ortiz testified on the importance of paid sick days for those annual physicals, dental cleaning or other preventative appointments. The Hispanic Health Council has 75 employees and they can accrue 5 days of sick time per year. As a non-profit agency we believe that this benefit saves money by keeping our employees healthy.

Jillian Gilchrest, Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut:

Executive Director Jillian Gilchrest submitted testimony on how important it is as on a public health issue. This allows workers the much needed opportunity to access preventative care. For years the legislature has debated this issue and this bill is a fair compromise.

Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc:

CONNSACS Director, Anna Droghazi submitted testimony on behalf of the victims of sexual violence. In the days following an assault victims have to confront many immediate and long term consequences. The repercussions of sexual violence can take a lifetime to overcome yet many survivors cannot afford to take even a single day off for fear of losing their job. These victims have to choose between receiving the care they need to heal and the income they need to survive. This bill would allow victims to use paid sick time to recover.

The Connecticut Association for Human Services:

Deputy Director Maggie Adair testified that as a partner in Everybody Benefits, Connecticut's campaign for paid sick days this bill is important. Employers would be in compliance with this bill if they already provide any other type of paid leave. Paid sick days promote a healthier work place, support family economic security, are good for business, and allow workers to seek health care early on as preventative care.

Connecticut Alliance for Basic Human Needs:

Ellen Small Billard testified in support of the bill. This bill addresses two very important basic needs: the need to care for yourself when sick and the need to care for the health of your family. Paid Sick Days is the right choice for three reasons: Promote better public health, greater family economic security and it will save employers money in the long run.

National Association of Social Workers/ Connecticut Chapter:

Marcia Bok testified that evidence shows that this legislation enhances, rather than depletes, resources. Workers do not generally abuse the policy. Only one in seven employers reported adverse effects on profitability.

Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, Inc.

With over 70,000 patients yearly Gretchen Raffa testified on the importance of women having routine preventative health care exams. These exams generally require women to take time off of work. No woman should have to risk her health or economic wellbeing because she is forced to decide between her health and the health of her family or her paycheck.

Stacey Zimmerman, SEIU:

Stacey Zimmerman testified that 40% of workers in Ct. have no paid sick time, 78% of food service workers have no paid sick time and 77% of low wage earners lack paid sick time. Eighty nine (89%) percent of the likely voters in the state favor paid sick leave legislation. By this very nature the passing of this bill should be a no brainer.

Citizens for Economic Opportunity:

Karen Schuessler submitted testimony in support of the bill. Paid sick days are good for business. Healthy workers are crucial to a productive economy. If workers are offered 7 paid sick days per year our economy would experience a net savings of $1.6 billion per year due to increased productivity and reduced turnover. The cost of sick employees coming to work costs employers $180 billion annually.

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

The Connecticut AFL-CIO strongly believes that workers deserve to take a paid day off in the event of being sick. It is a good business practice and a fundamental right of a fair and just society. Paid sick days should come from their collective bargaining agreement.

National Partnership for Women & Families:

Written testimony was submitted by Debra Ness in support of the bill. At a time when more than three-quarters of workers are living paycheck to paycheck, workers without paid sick days can ill afford to lose even a days pay due to their illness or that of a family member. People with out paid sick days are twice as likely to use an emergency room and parents without paid sick days are five times more likely to take a child or family member to an emergency room. The lack of paid sick days creates serious public health risks.

Connecticut Employer Lawyers Association:

Deborah McKenna testified in support of the bill. As a voluntary membership organization of attorneys throughout Connecticut they devote at least 51% of their employment related practice to representing employees. In a workplace that does not provide paid sick leave a worker may be faced with the loss of wages or being fired for caring for themselves or a sick child. If passed this bill would provide much need protection for workers who find themselves in this position.

Michael Brown, President. New Standard Institute, Inc.

Mr. Brown testified as both an owner of a business in the state of Connecticut and as a Management Consultant to the Manufacturing Industry worldwide. Mr. Brown also submitted testimony last year. As a management consultant, companies who provide paid leave are preferred employers and a family friendly company is a preferred company by young technical applicants.

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director, MomsRising:

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner testified on behalf of the nearly 5,000 Connecticut members of MomsRising in support of the bill. With paid sick days parents will not be forced to send their sick children to school where they infect other classmates and teachers. Workers without paid sick days go to work sick and spread the illness to their coworkers and customers. Paid sick days would promote higher employee moral, reduce turnover and more productive employees.

Laurel Baldwin-Ragaven, MD:

Doctor Baldwin-Ragaven submitted testimony in support of the bill. As a doctor in primary health care she understands how difficult if is for people to take time off work when they are sick. Productivity goes down when people are unwell. The precarious economic environment is driving people to go to work sick. When people are at risk of losing their jobs they will do anything to keep these jobs. People without paid sick days are four times more likely to seek health care in ineffective ways.

Nancy Diaz, Hartford :

Ms. Diaz testified that because of an illness that required an emergency operation she was fired for being out sick. If she had paid sick leave this would not have happened.

Keith Gervase, Hartford:

Mr. Gervase testified in support of the bill. As a service industry employee for over ten years he has seen the consequences of someone coming to work sick. Because you can't find coverage for your shift you often come in to work when you are sick.

Taulant Proko, Rocky Hill:

Mr. Proko spoke in favor of the bill. He stated that the impact on his family due to a lack of paid sick time is damaging. He has had to go to work at his factory when he has been sick.

Michelle Farber:

As a senior at Uconn and an employee at Costco, she testified that because her employer has paid sick time she was able to take time off to get her wisdom teeth removed without losing her job.

William Doling, Bethel:

Mr. Doling submitted written testimony in support of the bill. In the construction industry there are no paid sick days. With 7.7 million Americans employed in the industry in 2006 it is easy to see how the during the flu season there would be a lot potential for sick people on a job site.

Deborah Brody, Cheshire:

Ms. Brody testified as a health-care professional and a former small business owner that good wisdom, good will and good conscience should mandate you to pass this bill. By passing this legislation it will prevent the adverse health consequences of untreated illness and reduce the excessive health care costs to individuals, businesses and the state.

Marichris Cariaga, Norwich:

As a sophomore nursing major at Uconn and an employee at Reliance House Inc in Norwich,

Ms. Cariaga sees first hand how important paid sick time is to employees in the healthcare industry.

Attorney Scott MacDonald, Middletown:

Attorney MacDonald testified as a labor/employment attorney and the Human Resources Director for eight years for two organizations. Employees need to be provided adequate paid sick leave because research shows it has a positive effect on productivity, employee morale, employee satisfaction and profitability.

Louis Lista, Owner, Pond House Restaurant:

Mr. Lista testified that in 2003 he began offering sick days and health care to his employees. He discovered by providing these benefits they saved on employee turnover. Instead of needing to replace employees every month the staff began to see their job as a career. Many employees have been on staff for 8 to 10 years. Having a stable workforce has been beneficial in keeping the business profitable and growing. Customers keep coming back due to increasing customer satisfaction.

Kerry Florio, Norwalk:

Ms. Florio is a health care worker in the oncology ward at Norwalk Hospital who spoke on the importance of workers not coming to work sick. Norwalk Hospital does offer paid sick leave so when her son was ill she could stay home and take care of him without the worry of losing pay or her job.

Desiree Rosado, Groton:

Mrs. Rosado a married mother of three testified for the bill. She and her husband do not have paid sick time at their places of employment. During the swine flu pandemic all three of her children caught the H1N1 flu. She had to stay home to care for the children. Fortunately she did not lose her job but because she was out for 2 weeks the financial loss was difficult. She joined the organization MomsRising that supports paid sick days.

Robert Camacho, West Hartford:

Mr. Camacho submitted testimony in favor of the bill. Much to the detriment of not only employee health but also public health standards this issue is long over due. Plenty of studies have found that the cost to business is higher if the business denies paid sick days.

Natalie Cullen, Rocky Hill:

Ms. Cullen testified that her job requires her to constantly interact with people as well as food preparation. Employers strongly discourage you from calling out sick even when you are not getting paid. Managers threaten to write up or fire a worker who stays home due to illness. When employees are sick they do not work to their full ability.

Austin Longendyke, Norwich:

As an employee of Kohl's Department store, Mr. Longendyke submitted testimony that if you leave early due to illness of call in sick you could receive a demerit. If you get too many demerits it could lead to termination. Paid sick leave would encourage good health and benefit the health and safety of the general public.

Kyle LaVette, Berlin:

As a teacher who is paid hourly, Kyle LaVette does not receive paid sick days. When a teacher goes to work sick it spreads to students and fellow teachers. Paid sick days would also allow parents to stay home with their sick children.

Claribel Gracia, Manchester:

Ms. Gracia submitted testimony on behalf of her mother. Her mother need to go to the doctor and requested time off in advance from her manager. Because she did go to her appointments her manager let her go from her job.

Kelsie Lappen:

As a nursing major, Ms. Lappen submitted testimony on the importance of preventative care. With the lack of paid sick days it is not possible for people to obtain the proper health care. As a nursing student who plans to dedicate her life to the well-being of others it is the responsibility of this committee to pass this bill.

Sarah Laureano, East Hartford:

As an employee of Manchester Hospital Ms. Laureano sees first hand the negative effects on the physical and financial health on people who do not have paid sick leave. Without proper treatment illness become more severe, even to the point that one needs to be hospitalized.

Kate Kearney, Bristol:

As a school counselor in a public school, I see how parents are forced to send their sick children to school. This impacts the learning environment and well-being of our schools. Implementing a paid sick day where the employee would earn one hour for every 40 worked would give people the incentive to come to work.

Elizabeth Maloney, Enfield:

Ms. Maloney works as a waitress in a large chain restaurant that does not have paid sick leave. It was her testimony that the policy of her employer is that if you are sick you call out and do not come to work and therefore do not get paid.

Dorothy Phillips RN, Willimantic:

As a seasoned health care provider, Ms. Phillips believes that extending paid sick leave will result in healthier employees, healthier workplaces, better public health practice, and potential savings in health care costs.

Dennis Pistone, Danbury:

Mr. Pistone is President of an international company in the Danbury area. Having provided employment opportunities to thousands of employees paid sick days has always been offered. Both Well Days and Sick Days need to be built into the design of the company in order to make positions enticing in a competitive market.

Jonathan Kantrowitz, Stratford:

Mr. Kantowitz is the CEO and founder of Queue, Inc. He submitted testimony in support of the bill. As an Educational publisher with 18 full time employees who have the opportunity to earn full medical benefits and 5 sick days every six months. We provide sick days because it is right and good for business. Providing these benefits helps attract the best employees and gives them a sense of loyalty and respect for the company because they know the company cares for them.

Debra Warner, Plainville:

Ms. Warner submitted testimony in support of the bill. Her current place of employment has time allotment days which can be used for vacation or sick time. If I was not able to take the time to get well due to medical issues it would have caused much stress for me and my family.

Jessica DeRose, Manchester:

As a concerned citizen and student, Ms. DeRose testified on behalf of Paid Sick Leave. Part of some business practices is to cut hours right before the employees are considered full-time so they did not have to extend benefits to their workers. Having the ability to stay home when you are sick is fundamental to one's ability to care for his or her health.

Robert Hansen:

As a chef for twenty seven years, Mr. Hansen testified on behalf of the bill. The danger of not providing paid sick time to food service employees is to their coworkers and patrons of the restaurants where they work. Restaurants can be hotspots if there is a bad virus.

Jennifer Piallat - Zazie Restaurant:

As owner of a French bistro in San Francisco, Ms. Piallat submitted testimony on how her workforce is healthier overall since implementing San Francisco's paid sick leave ordinance. She testified that her employees have used paid sick days responsibly and usually do not use all that they have accrued. The workforce no longer comes to work sick and therefore does not infect other workers which caused a drain on the business and even forced the restaurant on occasion in the past to close.

Phyllis Winkler, Middletown:

As a first grade teacher, Ms. Winkler testified in support of the bill. When parents cannot take the day off to care for their child they then send the child to school sick. Too often a sick child will affect other student's ability to attend to lessons and also infect the other students and teachers with the illness.

Tina Cox, Meriden:

Ms. Cox wrote in support of the bill. Having policies that don't allow employees the ability to take time off when sick is bad for business, bad for employees and bad for society in general.

Daniel Hayes, Deep River:

Mr. Hayes testified that paid sick days allow employees to care for themselves and their families. Workers should not have to choose between taking care of their health and paying their bills.

Dalila Glendenning, Manchester:

Ms. Glendenning submitted testimony that supported the bill. Workers deserve to be protected and should not fear losing pay or their jobs due to illnesses.

Christine Burke, Salem:

Ms. Burke submitted testimony in support of the bill. Because management would not allow her the time off when she her daughter was sick she had to drive the bus with her son and sick daughter on board.

Jessica Martinez, Hartford:

As a school bus driver in West Hartford, Ms. Martinez supports the bill. Drivers to not make enough money to take days off in an emergency and many times come to work sick.

Margaret Camacho, West Hartford:

As an ESOL teacher in Hartford, Ms. Camacho supports the bill. It is essential that this legislation pass for the public's health.

Deb Coggshall, Rocky Hill:

As a server who does not have paid sick leave, she submitted testimony in favor of the bill. She testified that she felt her job was at risk if she called out sick. Calling out was not really an option financially.

Crystal Wiliams, East Hartford:

As an assistant teacher and student, she did not receive paid sick time. Full time teachers are given paid sick time. When workers are forced to come to work sick they spread illness to their fellow teachers and students.

Rebecca Jones, Manchester:

Ms. Jones submitted testimony in favor of the bill. She feels that the issue is of vital importance to provide safeguards to their employees. When employees do not have the ability to care for themselves the very basics are taken away from them.

Marc Mastraichio, West Haven:

Mr. Mastraichio submitted testimony that there are too many people risking the health and safety of others by going to work sick. As a union roofer with a very dangerous job when you go to work sick it puts you and your coworkers at risk.

Sandra Fitzpatrick, West Hartford:

Ms. Fitzpatrick spoke in support of the bill. She has had jobs where she has had paid sick time and other jobs where she has not had paid sick time. As an employee you need the ability to take a day off when health issues come up.

Daniel P. McSparran, New London:

Daniel submitted testimony in support of the bill. This legislation is warranted and long overdue. When employees come to work sick they put all their peers at risk and impact productivity in a negative way.

Paula Broderick, Victim Survivor Advisory Council Member:

Ms. Broderick spoke in support of the bill. As a rape survivor who was kept captive for three days she had to call out sick and suffered financially as well as emotionally. Everyone deserves the protection provided by a few paid sick days.

Amanda Girardin, Andover:

Ms. Girardin is a graduate student at the Uconn School of Social Work and an intern at the Aetna Foundation Children's Center where they offer services to victims of child sexual abuse. Amanda testified on the various complaints from caregivers who were unable to schedule medicals and therapy because they cannot afford to take the time off to accompany them. The delay in services can hinder police investigations and is detrimental to the child victims.

Elsa Peterson, Elsa Peterson LTD:

Ms. Peterson submitted testimony in support of the bill. As the operator of a small business for more than 25 years an injured worker or sick worker can be unproductive. Coming to work sick creates a negative mood in the workplace as well as spreading illness. When workers stay home they have the chance to get well and not miss future work due to complications.

Tanvir Chandlry, Vernon:

Ms Chandlry wrote in support of the bill. Paid sick days allow employees to be able to take care of themselves and not infect other employees.

Dawn Taylor, East Hartford:

Ms. Taylor testified in support of the bill. She works in a downtown Hartford firm where they have paid time off and this allows her to care for herself and her parents.

Priscilla Villanueva, Manchester:

Ms. Villanueva submitted testimony in support of the bill. With many living paycheck to paycheck one days pay represents 20% of a weekly paycheck. This makes one choose between ones health and being able to pay the bills.

Nancy MacBride, Voluntown:

As a teacher Ms. MacBride submitted testimony on the consequences of parents not having sick days. Often students are sent to school with contagious illness because their parents can't afford to stay home with them. No child should be forced to go to school sick and no parent should be forced to send their children to school sick because of a financial hardship.

Natasha Stapleton, Hartford:

As a food service worker, Ms. Stapleton sent in testimony in support of the bill. Many restaurant workers do not have this benefit and they pay the consequences. We are the last people you want going in to work sick. Our physical and financial well being is at the mercy of those who are far removed from our reality.

Ruth Camacho, West Hartford:

As a registered nurse, Ms. Camacho sent in testimony on how she sees first hand how detrimental is for employees to come to work when they are sick. As a per diem worker she does not receive paid sick time. Hospitals are not hiring nurses into benefited positions to save costs.

Monique Yorgenson, Manchester:

Ms. Yorgenson submitted testimony that sick workers should be able to stay home to get well. Without paid sick days you are not able to stay home from work because of the financial hardship.

Mark Davis:

Mr. Davis, a Duncan Donuts worker, testified in favor of the bill. The benefits of this bill would be twofold. If would let the employee have the opportunity to stay home and get well and would not put the employee in a difficult financial situation.

Donna Dawson, Windsor:

Ms. Dawson submitted testimony on behalf of her mother. Her mother was hospitalized and did not have paid sick days and suffered a loss of income. Workers deserve better and should be able to care for themselves when they are sick.

David Vita, Westport:

As director of Social Justice at the Unitarian Church in Westport, Mr. Vita submitted testimony in favor of the bill. Paid sick leave would benefit working families especially women. Many studies demonstrate that paid sick days do not impact negatively on job growth and there is no evidence from San Francisco that their business have suffered since they enacted paid sick days in 2007.

Deborah Blake, New Haven:

Ms. Blake submitted testimony supporting the bill. Workers should not be punished when they are ill. When you miss a day of work you not only loose pay but you are putting your job at risk.

Shontay Watts, New Haven:

Ms. Watts submitted testimony in favor of the bill. One of the unfortunate aspects of not having paid sick days is that you can't take care of your children when they are sick. I am afraid to take time off because a co-worker stayed home when he had the flu and my boss cut his hours as a reprimand. Not having paid sick days also makes it difficult to schedule regular doctor appointments.

M.J.Chironna, Norwalk:

Ms. Chironna submitted testimony in support of the bill. As a working parent for 13 years I have to choose many times between sending my children to school sick and going to work. When I take the time off to care for my children it decreases my paycheck. I would not have to make these decisions if you pass this bill.

Michael Duffy Sr., Meriden:

Mr. Duffy submitted testimony in support of the bill. As a worker at one of the largest communications companies in the world who receives paid sick leave he testified that if I use them I get disciplined. I believe the company uses these “mock” sick days to look more responsible and to gain a better bargaining position with the union.

Rev. Margaret G. Payne, New England Synod:

Bishop Payne submitted testimony in favor of the bill. We stand for proposed legislation that would provide paid sick leave for workers and encourage the State Legislature to enact provisions that provide paid sick time to all classes of employees.

Joel Cruz, Hartford:

Mr.Cruz testified in support of the bill. As a minister and veteran currently working in the healthcare industry he sees first hand the consequences of not having paid sick leave. This is a basic issue of fairness and treating people with respect. This is what the term “family values” is all about.

Cheryl Folston, Newington:

As a driver for a livery service, Ms. Folston testified that because she did not have paid sick time she had to put off going to the doctors. When she was laid off from her job and she was finally able to go to the doctors they discovered a serious heart tumor. This tumor could have killed her. She had the surgery in December and is recovering but was lucky that she got the medical attention when she did. If she had paid sick time she could have had this taken care of sooner.

Kyle Warner, Plainville”

As a dietary aide at a nursing home, Mr. Warner testified in favor of the bill. A nursing home is one of the last places you want a sick employee. These people cannot be exposed to sick caregivers. Kuwait mandates 10 paid days off per year. I think a mere 5 is more than reasonable.

Katherine Emery ,CEO, Walker Systems Support:

As CEO of Walker Systems Support, a medium sized network management and computer technical support firm with 50 employees, she believes that her company's success is due to talented and dedicated employees. These employees are investors in a company as much as shareholders. Companies create community and should be perceived more than just the property of the shareholders. When an employer shows respect to their employees by providing this benefit they can expect loyalty and increased productivity in return.

Tessa Marquis, New Standard Institute, Inc.

Ms. Marquis testified in support of the bill. Conditions that people work under effects their attitude as they move on to other jobs and careers. It has always been my intention to follow the creed “do unto others”. In 1995 while at my father's deathbed I realized that this time causes enormous stress on an employee. Having to choose between the paycheck and personal issues forces an employee to choose the paycheck. I then instituted a 5 day emergency leave policy. Last year when I testified I stated that “At our company you are not penalized financially for time out when ill, and we find people return to work sooner and ready to work when given proper care.”

Curt N. Rayvis, Brookfield:

Mr. Rayvis testified that during his thirty plus years work experience a happy employee tends to be a healthier employee. Having to work while sick endangers other workers and exacerbates the illness. An important part of any successful business is the ability to retain good employees. Factors in that retention are salary and benefits like paid sick days.

Larry Deutsch, MD, Hartford:

Dr. Deutsch testified from the perspective of a public health professional and pediatrician. When an employee lacks paid sick days their families suffer. Paid sick days are necessary for the health of working parents and their children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, over a quarter of children with asthma have miss medical appointments because their parents could not get the time off.

Reverend Joshua Mason Pawelek, Manchester:

Reverend Pawelek submitted testimony in support of the bill. This is a good, humane and economically sound public policy. In the absence of paid sick leave all parties suffer especially low income workers. I arrived at the view based on my experience providing pastoral support to parishioners who do not have this benefit, my experience supervising workers for three small non-profit organizations who receive paid sick leave and my research into this issue. The February 23rd report from Human Rights Watch entitled “Failing its Families: Lack of Paid Leave and Work-Family Supports in the US” well documents the public health crisis that is generated when workers come to work sick.

Reverend Joel S. Neubauer, Middletown:

Pastor Neubauer submitted testimony as a pastor and a volunteer in his community. The state needs to support the healthy, industrious lives we lead as interconnected individuals. Some might fear that mandated paid sick leave may be misused. A stronger possibility would point to a respect for health and wellness within the workplace by both employees and employers and would increase business output and efficiency. In my experience workers with properly maintained health display the greatest dedication to their workplace.

Reverend Paul D. Sinnott, New Preston:

Reverend Sinnott testified in favor of the bill. This bill would provide a low cost benefit to employees of Connecticut businesses. Some say that workers may abuse sick time but in my experience workers want the business to flourish and this bill would encourage them to continue their investment in the company.

John Phillips-Sandy, West Hartford:

As an owner and partner of Chief Executive Productions, Inc., Mr. Phillips-Sandy testified in support of the bill. Since our first day as a company we have mandated that each member of the company receives equal compensation in our belief that a small business is a team effort. Illness is a fact of life and our policy is full pay even when one of us is sick. This recognizes our efforts and is the right way to build the business.

Ryan Ozimek, PICnet:

As CEO and co-founder of PICnet Mr. Zimek submitted testimony in support of the bill. The company is located in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Each county has paid sick day laws in effect. Providing paid sick days is less expensive than you may think. My employees use their days in a responsible way, few use all of the days available to them and if they were to come to work sick we would ultimately lose more money because sick workers are less productive Paid sick days laws make good business sense and it is good government policy to promote healthy workplaces.

Communications Workers of America Local 1298:

Vice President Richard Benham submitted testimony that this bill's time has come. In this day and age it is not ok for a society to accept the practice and thinking that it is acceptable to expect that employees come to work sick because they can't afford to miss a day's pay. We have heard all the pros and cons and the benefits far outweigh the cons.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Representative Gail Lavielle, 143rd District:

Representative Lavielle testified in opposition to the bill. Rep. Lavielle opposed the bill for two reasons. The first is related to the effects it will have on business and the second is to the perceptions within the larger business community. Under the new rules most employees may take time off because it is available to them and this will lead to reduced productivity and a higher cost of doing business. Employers may hesitate to grow their business beyond 49 employees to avoid the potential costs and inconvenience. This bill does not protect employers against abuses by employees who may use this time without having a legitimate reason.

Siegel, O'Connor, O'Donnell & Beck, P.C. on behalf of TLC East, LLC:

Glenn A. Duhl spoke as a representative of TLC East, LLC an employer who operates seven Applebee's in Connecticut. This act would only serve to continue the states already dreary business climate. All T.L.C's employees have access to limited medical benefits and if they work an average of 30 hours per week are eligible for paid vacations. After 6 months all associates may participate in 401K benefits and they are also offered discounts on their meals. This bill would put an unduly burdensome effect on this organization which already operates under a very lean margin. The act will increase costs and that would severely impact its ability to continue operations in this state.

Hartford Restaurant Group:

Phillip Barnett testified as one of the owners of the Hartford Restaurant Group in opposition to this bill. The restaurant business is one of the hardest industries in which to be successful. This bill is unreasonable, not practical and would most likely prevent any growth opportunities. The underlying challenges and expenses with this bill would be devastating to the business. When one of our team members is sick or their child is sick it is generally very easy to swap, change, or get rid of a shift within seconds. Everything is now web based and it is simply just the press of a few buttons or a phone call to make this happen.

Michael P. Saltsman, Employment Policies Institute:

Mr. Saltsman testified as a research fellow at the Employment Policies Institute of Washington, D.C. “Research from groups like the Institute for Women's Policy Research wildly overstates the benefits of this mandate.” “Evidence from San Francisco suggests that vulnerable employees and their employers were adversely impacted by the city's sick leave mandate.” More than eight out of 10 employers in San Francisco said that the paid sick leave ordinance had no effect on the number of employees who came in to work sick. Certain industries with less experienced employees are negatively impacted by such a mandate. In conclusion the cost of this mandate outweighs the benefits. The vast majority of workers in Connecticut already have access to this benefit and the remaining employees don't have it because they can not afford it.

Michael Nicastro, President & CEO Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce:

Mr. Nicastro testified in opposition to this bill. All the members of NESMA, located in Connecticut have reached out to us to advocate for them by opposing this job killing and economy weakening bill. The issue from the Chambers perspective is more insidious and a continued evolution of de facto, government sponsored unionization. Bills such as these will continue to erode the potential for growth when small businesses are just beginning to see signs of recovery.

Mark DiVenere, President, Gemco Mfg. Co:

Mr. DiVenere submitted testimony in opposition to the bill. There may be companies in Connecticut that do not share the same level of concern for their employees and they are probably the exceptions. Most small and midsized manufacturers are struggling to complete. They have to deal with increases in taxes, raw materials, health insurance premiums, and energy costs to name a few. A legislator costly mandates only results in additional costs. It is not the role of government to dictate to me the level of voluntary benefits that I choose to provide to my employees especially with regard to paid time off. To force this benefit is irresponsible. Mandated benefits will simply result in reduced benefits such as lost vacation time, the elimination of holiday pay or worse job loss.

Robert DeZinno, Middlebury:

Mr. DeZinno submitted testimony as Director of Operations for Backstage a restaurant in Torrington. “Mandated Paid Sick Leave is no more than a legislated entitlement.” A restaurant must be fully staffed to provide proper customer service and when an employee calls out sick they must be replaced. Paid sick leave would double the payroll expense for that position on that day. Wise employees know to put just a few dollars away each week for those days when they have a real illness.

Associated General Contractors of Connecticut

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Bridgeport Regional Business Council

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Central Ct Chambers of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Ct

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Cheshire Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Connecticut Alarm and Systems Integrators Association

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Connecticut Association of Health Underwriters

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Connecticut Association of Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Connecticut Bankers Association (CBA)

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Connecticut Benefit Brokers

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA)

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Connecticut Construction Industries Association, Inc.

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Connecticut Environmental and Utilities Contractors Association

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Connecticut Heating and Cooling Contractors

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Connecticut Ready Mixed Concrete Association

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Connecticut Retail Merchants Association (CRMA)

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Connecticut Road Builders Association

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

East Hartford Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Home Builders Association of Ct, Inc (HBA)

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Independent Electrical Contractors of New England, Inc.

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Independent Insurance Agents of Connecticut (IIAC)

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Metal Manufacturers' Education and Training Alliance (METAL)

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

MetroHartford Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Middlesex Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Milford Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Motor Transport Association of Connecticut

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Movers & Warehousemen's Association of Connecticut

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Newington Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

North Central Ct. Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Northeastern Ct. Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Northwest Ct Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Shoreline Government Affairs Committee

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Simsbury Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Smaller Manufacturers Association of Connecticut, Inc (SMA)

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Society for Human Resource Management

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Southington Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

The Business Council of Fairfield County

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

The Chamber of Commerce, Inc. /Windham Region

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Tolland County Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Watertown-Oakville Chamber of Commerce

This bill would raise the cost of doing business, force some employers to reduce other employee benefits, abandon plans for job creations and capital investments and would make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business.

Robert J. Rung, Jr., Waterbury:

Mr. Rung submitted testimony opposing this bill. I have personally had to terminate three times employees who abused their sick leave benefits. Employee power with regard to sick pay will breed abuse, loss of business and ultimately loss of jobs.

Marshall Collins, on behalf of the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce, Milford Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, Connecticut Coalition of Property Owners, Alliance of Connecticut YMCAs, Lumber Dealers' Association of Connecticut, Connecticut Messenger Courier Association:

Mr. Collins testified that mandating additional benefits for these organizations to their part-time workers are expensive and an administrative nightmare. This proposal is not business friendly and it increases the cost of doing business.

John F. Krin, CFO American Electro Products, Inc:

Mr. Krin submitted testimony opposing Senate bill 913. This bill would substantially increase the cost of business and force employers to reconsider other benefits currently being offered to offset the cost of paid sick leave.

Mike DeVivo, J & M Safety Consulting, LLC:

Mr. DeVivo submitted testimony in opposition of this bill. Preventing the passage of this bill is crucial to the well-being of our economy and all the residents of Connecticut. Increased regulations hamper businesses.

Benjamin Peterson, Vice President - Interim HealthCare of North Haven:

Mr. Peterson submitted testimony against the bill. Preventing a business owner from imposing attendance and other personnel policies will be harmful and less desirable for businesses to expand or move into Connecticut.

Campion Ambulance Service, Inc.

President and CEO, William Campion submitted testimony opposing the bill. If you prevent a business owner from implementing the proper attendance and other related policies it will be incredibly harmful and make the state less desirable for businesses.

Toni Pagano, Employee Relations Manager, MacDermid, Inc

Employee Relations Manager, Toni Pagano wrote in opposition to Senate Bill 913. Providing mandatory sick leave for all employees would increase the cost of business and could force some employers to reconsider other benefits to offset these costs.

Robert B. Cordeau, President, C&H Electric:

Mr. Cordeau submitted testimony in opposition to the bill. We don't want the State of Connecticut to further intrude into our workplace.

Connecticut Construction Industries Association. Inc.

CCIA submitted testimony opposing the bill. The purpose of the bill may be laudable but would impose substantial costs on business at a time when many are struggling just to survive.

MetroHartford Alliance:

The Alliance the region's economic development leader submitted testimony opposing the bill. Currently Connecticut has the highest deficit per capita and is facing deficits in the next biennium that exceed $7B. Any legislation that is irrelevant to the work that is being done to balance the state budget should be postponed until the state is on solid financial ground. Any legislation that makes our state less competitive should be rejected on arrival by anyone who wishes to create jobs in Connecticut.

Eli's Restaurant Group:

Shawn Reilly wrote as director of operations of 4 restaurants in the state. These restaurants work on a very small profit margin and this proposal would increase our costs and be a bit of a circus to manage. One of our businesses may close this year and another has around 50 hourly employees and we would have to trim the staff to below 50 to avoid this bill. It would also force us to change our vacation policy possibly cutting back on that benefit.

Connecticut Restaurant Association:

The Connecticut Restaurant Association strongly opposes Senate Bill 913. We support government initiatives that help create a strong business climate and create new jobs but mandating employers to provide paid sick leave to full and part time employees is extremely costly and will result in fewer jobs and less growth. The restaurant industry offers flexibility to it employees with flexible work schedules that meet the needs of both the employees and employers.

U.S.S. Chowder Pot IV:

The owner Jonathan Smith submitted testimony that this bill would drastically hurt his business. An estimated cost will result in an additional $60,000 not including payroll taxes. Monitoring a program to support this law would put a major burden on office staff. We allow our employees the necessary time off by them getting others to work for them and vice versa.

Connecticut Heating & Cooling Contractors Association:

Executive Director Jennifer Jennings testified in opposition to the bill. Some or our members do have less than 50 employees but them are still concerned that this bill imposes a burdensome workplace mandate on employers that will be extended to the smallest employers. The cost of paid sick leave on top of apprenticeship training may discourage employers from providing apprentices with hands-on training opportunities.

CT Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors Association:

Testimony was submitted in opposition to the bill. Connecticut lawmakers should be looking for ways to jumpstart the economy but unfortunately this bill moves Connecticut in the wrong direction by imposing a paid leave mandate on Connecticut employers.

East of the River Chambers of Commerce Associations:

ERCCA opposes SB-913. The bill imposes a one-size fits all mandate regardless of the type of industry or economic hardship that this may impose. Companies can not absorb the additional cost of paid sick leave. It appears to be intrusive interference with companies who negotiate such issues with Unions in an already “closed shop” State

Joseph Bonner, Bonner Electric:

Mr. Bonner testified that even though Bonner Electric would not be impacted directly he was very much imposed to government imposing mandates on private businesses.

MassMutual Financial Group:

MassMutual submitted testimony in opposition to the bill. They provide generous paid sick time benefits but as a multi- state employer they must oppose mandates proposed by various states. They impact our ability to efficiently and effectively operate multi-state worksites.

Connecticut Marine Trades Association:

CTMA and their membership urge you not to support this bill. The unfunded mandate on business will take away their ability to make their own decisions on employee benefits. In this economy the focus must be on saving jobs not putting additional costly requirements on businesses.

AT&T:

AT&T respectfully opposes the bill. Although we understand the importance of employees having the benefits to ensure a good quality of life and do provide a comprehensive benefit package that does include paid sick leave this bill does more than require an employer to provide sick leave. Employers who provide generous paid time off today will be significantly affected by the mandates in this bill. This bill will take away an employer's flexibility to manage its workforce and prevent abuse.

Connecticut Conference of Municipalities:

CCM opposes the bill. The Office of Fiscal Analysis has concluded that such a proposal would be a state mandate on municipalities and there would be a negative fiscal impact. The municipal leaders urge state lawmakers to focus on reducing unfunded mandates and not push new costly mandates on hometowns.

Connecticut Farm Bureau Association:

Donald Tuller, President submitted testimony in opposition to the bill. Connecticut farmers depend on other residents to by our agricultural products. With the passing of this bill more jobs and disposable income will go out of state.

CANPFA:

Mag Morelli, President of CANPFA submitted testimony in opposition to Senate Bill 913. Health care facilities and housing sites operate twenty-four hours a day and they must staff accordingly. Many or our members employ per diem and part time workers to perform both direct and not-direct care functions. Several of these members have calculated that this bill would cause them a significant financial cost.

SBC Restaurant & Brewery of Ct.:

Owner David Rutigliano testified that he strongly opposes the bill. We in the restaurant business are in a disposable income business and cannot force anyone to use our services. The governor has proposed the largest increase in taxes in Ct. history. This is yet another job killing business mandate.

Chili's Grill & Bar:

Irene Pia testified in opposition to this bill. Most of the front of the house employees are tipped employees and they would prefer to trade a shift if they are unable to work due to an illness. This is essentially how our industry works. If the average shift is 6 hours the employee would only earn $49.50 in sick pay which is far less than if they worked another shift with gratuity. Our employees are allowed to accrue hours for time off for a variety of reasons. We appreciate the option to continue this process.

Connecticut Alarm & Systems Integrators Association:

John Yusza Jr. testified against the bill. The vast majority of our employers in our industry are small we are concerned with the one-size fits all approach. This does not take into account the current economic recession or current benefit offerings.

Abercrombie, Burns, McKiernan, Darien

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

Alloy Engineering Co., Bridgeport

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

Bicron Electronics Company, Canaan

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

Coilplus CT. Waterbury

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

Company Insurance, Inc., Darien

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

Darter Specialties, Inc. Cheshire

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

H&T Waterbury, Waterbury

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

HDB, Inc. Winsted

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

Hubbard-Hall, Waterbury

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

J & M Safety Consulting, LLC, Waterbury

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

Marion Manufacturing, Cheshire

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

Orange Research Inc., Milford

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

Platt Brothers, Waterbury

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

Schwerdtle Stamp Company, Bridgeport

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

Stevens Company Inc., Thomaston

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

Traver IDC, Waterbury

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

Whitcomb Business Corp., Danbury

We oppose the bill because the cost of business will rise significantly, force some employers to reduce other benefits, cause some to abandon plans for job creation and capital investment and make Connecticut uncompetitive by sending the message that the state is not business friendly.

Geoff W. Prusak, Signs of All Kinds, LLC:

Mr. Prusak submitted testimony urging the committee to oppose SB 913. The realities of the bills potential affects all businesses in the state. As a small business owner I am a firm believer in free market system it is the freedom of the employer and employee to negotiate benefits fairly and equitably. Setting this mandate will raise payroll costs and remove the employer's right to develop the right mix of salary and benefits.

A thyme to cook:

President Linda Sample submitted testimony in opposition to the bill. Her business is predominantly catering various celebrations from April through November. If an employee calls in sick they pay double since they must find a replacement.

San Marino Ristorante Italiano:

Co-owner Anthony D'Elia testified against this bill. Small businesses are the back bone of Connecticut. This bill is one of many we can do without.

Kia F. Murrell, Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA):

Assistant Council Kia F. Murrell testified in opposition to Senate Bill 913. This bill is one of the most costly and unnecessary labor/employment proposals in recent years. Our state can not afford to impose costly new mandates on Connecticut businesses. This bill will increase labor costs and its one-size-fits-all proposal disregards the fact that Connecticut businesses are consistently recognized as among the best employers in the U.S. It makes no sense to mandate paid sick leave when no other state does. New York recently abandoned its plans to enact a paid sick leave mandate when they found it would increase employers' cost by $789 million. Costly labor mandates makes Connecticut less competitive and negatively impacts our ability to attract new business.

Steven Camerota, Vice President, Camerota Truck Parts, Enfield

If our costs increase due to benefits mandates, such as this bill, our business will be forced to cost shift this expense to our employees, cutback existing benefits that are offered to employees and possibly affect staffing plans at our remanufacturing and distribution facilities.

Jacki Tamayo, Human Resources Director, Camerota Truck Parts, Enfield

If our costs increase due to benefits mandates, such as this bill, our business will be forced to cost shift this expense to our employees, cutback existing benefits that are offered to employees and possibly affect staffing plans at our remanufacturing and distribution facilities.

Thomas Peck, Director of Operations, ABA-PGT, Inc., Manchester

We are a 67 year old company specializing in the production of high precision injection mold tooling and precision plastics injection molding of motion control components. We currently employ 100 people. This bill will substantially increase the costs of doing business.

Christine Goodall, HR Generalist, Alcoa Power and Propulsion, Winsted

Passing this bill will not only affect how we operate, the ability to be productive and meet customer demands, but would increase our labor costs.

Maria M. Garrido-Cauley, Human Resources Manager, Rainbow Home Services, Newington

As a provider for the Home Care Program for Elders, we are being reimbursed at very low rates, currently 30% below market value, of which last increase of 2.9% took place in 2007. Since the last rate increase over three years ago, we have incurred higher minimum wage mandates, higher worker compensation insurance rates, increased unemployment contributions, and numerous other cost increases. As an employer, we appreciate our employees, we understand that they are our biggest asset; however, we cannot afford to absorb the cost of this mandate due to the inability to pass this cost on to our clients.

Michael R. Paine, Sr., Paine's Incorporated, Simsbury

The roll of government has not been and should not be regulating or mandating what benefits any business must provide our employees. You do not have a legal right to pass laws like this bill but it is morally wrong to require a business to provide a specific benefit.

Rebecca Karabin-Ahern, Executive Vice President, Acme Monaco Corp., Hartford

This mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and administrative burdens in handling this new benefit for our employees.

Frank Giangrave, Owner/Operator, Frasal Tool, Newington

I own and operate a small manufacturing company in Newington. We are a 40 year old company specializing in special tooling for various industries. We currently employ 10 people. This mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and could cause us to evaluate other benefits we provide to our employees.

Gene Dunkin, Chief Executive Officer, Thompson Brands, LLC, Meriden

The businesses in our state simply cannot afford any additional burdens at this time.

Kevin Kolka, Manager, Lacey Manufacturing, Bridgeport

I do not understand how anyone can support a bill that makes it more difficult for businesses like ours to compete with other states and countries around the world. We need to make the state more competitive and business friendly.

Carolyn Adams, Owner, Carolyn Adams' Country Barn, Durham

This mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs.

Donna Noonan, Managing Member, American Metal Crafters LLC, Middletown

We need to cut costs not increase them. Connecticut is broke. We don't need another cost added. We are already competing with products from Mexico at a reduced rate of 30 to 35%. The last thing we need to do is drive more people out of business.

Colin H. Cooper, CEO, Whitcraft LLC, Eastford

To allow our company to continue to operate successfully and to ensure our continued growth in the future, we need you to oppose this bill. This bill will substantially increase our costs and will force our company to reevaluate the many other benefits we offer our employees if we are to remain competitive.

Judy Travers, Human Resources Director, Legrand, West Hartford

I strongly urge you to reject this bill because it is harmful to the Legrand businesses in Connecticut. It would significantly increase our labor costs and make our business less competitive with those in other states.

Philip LeRoux, Senior Vice President, Legrand, West Hartford

I strongly urge you to reject this bill because it is harmful to the Legrand businesses in Connecticut. It would significantly increase our labor costs and make our business less competitive with those in other states.

Brian DiBella, Vice President & General Manager, Legrand, West Hartford

I strongly urge you to reject this bill because it is harmful to the Legrand businesses in Connecticut. It would significantly increase our labor costs and make our business less competitive with those in other states.

Halsey Cook, President, Electrical Wiring Systems, Legrand, West Hartford

I strongly urge you to reject this bill because it is harmful to the Legrand businesses in Connecticut. It would significantly increase our labor costs and make our business less competitive with those in other states.

Lynn Iverson, Administrator, St. Joseph's Living Center, Windham

We are a 120 bed, not-for-profit short term rehab and long term care facility, employing about 200 staff members. As a health care provider, we clearly understand the importance of not having sick employees report to the workplace. However, in this business climate, I cannot support this bill.

Mark Nickson, DAC Systems/ Telliris, Shelton

As it stands, the cost of doing business and the cost of living in Connecticut is exceptionally high compared with other regions in the U.S. This is a major factor in many businesses large and small moving out of the state to regions which are more attractive. This bill would require additional recordkeeping and for a subset of employers result in a higher labor cost.

Sheila Nevans, Human Resources Director, Ashcroft, Inc. Stratford

We have a long history in Connecticut. Our business was found in 1851. We are dedicated to the town of Stratford and the Bridgeport region. We would have no choice but to reduce employment and other valued benefits in order to pay for such an expensive mandated benefit.

Sharon Grimm, Personnel Director, Forecast International, Newtown

This mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs.

Teresa Morrison, Human Resources Manager, J. Walter, Inc., Windsor

This mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs. At a time when businesses are struggling to remain competitive and maintain their work forces, this bill does not make good business sense.

Mike Carbray, General Manager, Amphenol, Spectra-Strip, Hamden

This bill will lead to increased labor costs and reduced efficiency. Currently, our employees can use vacation time to get paid for sick days or time off to take care of sick family members. Adding mandatory time off on top of paid vacation will significantly increase out labor costs.

Rand Glucroft, Vice President, C.O. Jelliff Corp., Southport

We are very upset over the possibility of requiring paid time off for our employees. It's just one more cost that we must contend with as we try to be competitive in the global marketplace. If this bill passes, it will be one more reason why we should move out of the state and consolidate our resources into our facility in North Carolina.

Dianne R. Veley, Global Human Resources Manager, Siemon Company, Watertown

This mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs. While I can appreciate the economic benefit that may be provided to individual employees, I believe this is shortsighted in providing the most economically responsible business environment for all employees.

Paul A. Hoffman, President/Owner, Orange Research Inc, Milford

We are a small manufacturer and due to a poor economy and job losses, we do not have a “bench” to draw on. We need and want our employees at work, as much as possible, and to use their paid sick time for true illnesses. We reward people at the end of each year for unused paid sick time, in addition to paid personal time. They appreciate and love this benefit, especially since the payout comes right before the holidays. We cannot continue to make doing business in Connecticut harder and more expensive, because we lose our ability to create jobs and improve our economy for all residents.

Beth Evans, President, Evans Associates Environmental Consulting, Inc., Bethany

I have operated a small consulting firm since 1988. As a small business owner with fewer than ten employees, I have prided myself in creating a work environment where my employees are treated with respect and compensated at a very competitive rate. One of the benefits of being a small business owner is being able to create a work environment that is flexible and responsive to the individual needs of my employees. Given the current economic climate, passing this bill would move me one step closer to closing the doors and going back to being a private consultant, effectively eliminating five jobs and adding to the unemployment rolls.

Howard Goldfarb, President, Leed Himmel Ind, Inc., Hamden

I am writing to express my disbelief that in this economy you are considering this bill while Connecticut and the rest of the nation's companies are still suffering from a near total collapse of the economy. If this bill is enacted, the estimated cost to our company would be approximately $104,000 annually. At the present time, we are no longer profitable, and the prognosis is more of the same. It should also be noted that no other state requires such payments. That just continues the uncompetitive situation, which we have in this state. Simply put our competitors do not have this cost. This bill will continue to make Connecticut a difficult place to do business.

Karen J. Soule, Vice President, Tender Living Care, Inc., Glastonbury

As a provider for the Home Care Program for Elders, we are being reimbursed at very low rates. The last increase of 2.9% took place almost 4 years ago. In the meantime, minimum wages were up by 7.28% and the cost of living increased by more than 8.5%. The approval of this bill under the current economic circumstances would only further increase the cost of doing business in the state.

Joseph A. Mascia, Executive Director, GIL Foundation, Inc., Prospect

GIL is a private, nonprofit organization providing comprehensive supports and services to community residents with developmental disabilities since 1985. If this bill was successfully passed, it would place an undue hardship on many employers like GIL Foundation, requiring 24 hour care and services for individual with developmental needs. We would be forced to remove the successful paid time off bank system, reverting back to old systems of time off accrual, hindering progress in recruiting and retention of valuable employees.

Rich Carella, Co Chair, Legislative Committee, Middlesex Chamber, Middletown

The Middlesex Chamber is a dynamic business organization with over 2,350 members that employ over 50,000 people. Our membership ranges from Fortune 500 companies to local micro businesses and each one of these businesses has a unique relationship with its employees. This paid sick leave proposal will undoubtedly make companies think twice about adding more jobs and will further increase already high costs when we need to be exploring ways to do just the opposite. In essence, mandating paid sick leave is a flawed “one size fits all” approach that the members of the Middlesex Chamber urge rejection.

Rick Parmelee, Co Chair, Legislative Committee, Middlesex Chamber, Middletown

The Middlesex Chamber is a dynamic business organization with over 2,350 members that employ over 50,000 people. Our membership ranges from Fortune 500 companies to local micro businesses and each one of these businesses has a unique relationship with its employees. This paid sick leave proposal will undoubtedly make companies think twice about adding more jobs and will further increase already high costs when we need to be exploring ways to do just the opposite. In essence, mandating paid sick leave is a flawed “one size fits all” approach that the members of the Middlesex Chamber urge rejection.

Sherri Helget, Human Resources Manager, Engineering Services & Products Company, South Windsor

This mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs.

David Place, GM/CFO, Hartford CPL Co-Op, Inc., Hartford

The Hartford CPL offers 10 paid vacation days per year to its employees. We have not provided sick days as part of our paid time off benefit to this point. Unfortunately, I will have to lay off 4-5 people the day this legislation passes to cover the increased cost. Further, I have had discussions during Chamber of Commerce meetings recently, where other companies plan to follow suit. Not the right time to add more unemployed workers, especially when both the Connecticut and federal unemployment funds are already bankrupt.

Lois A. Krause, Director of Human Resources, Capewell Components, Cromwell

For our company to be required to carry this over from year to year, would add cost for accounting and add liabilities to the bottom line of the business, or add costs for monetary payout. Adding any additional costs at this time would be deadly to our current ability to remain in business, and to employ our current workforce, in total.

Jeff Dornenburg, President, Dornenburg Group (Advertising/Marketing), Bloomfield

It is extremely difficult for smaller companies to remain competitive when employees call in sick. We have deadlines to meet and often end up calling temp workers to finish the work – paying twice for the same service. There is rarely budget these days to cover any unforeseen expense, so the extra cost comes out of profit. That profit goes for new computers, upgraded software, and other important investments – which ultimately lead to growth and hiring more employees.

Derek Bauer, Owner, Able Tool & Equipment, South Windsor

We in fact now offer 3 sick days annually for employees, but when we started five years ago did not have the luxury to do so. These decisions should be between employee and employer, and do not have anything to do with what government thinks is fair.

Scott Crosson, Plant Manager, General Cable, Willimantic

Within our union workforce, we actively negotiate with our associates over numerous terms and conditions of employment, and the collective bargaining process already gives our associates the opportunity to seek those benefits most important to them. I believe the provision of sick days has traditionally been and should continue to be a matter of negotiation between an organized labor force and its employer.

Charles Sears, President, Dri-Air Industries, East Windsor

Our survey shows that most companies already have a sick day policy that covers a large part of the time that employees are sick. Because of the constant abuse of this policy, we have designated this policy as personal days to avoid the employee having to lie about why they are absent. In addition, we allow our employees to use vacation days for sickness if they use up their personal days.

Michele Graziano, Quality Vending, Bristol

As a small family owned business, we struggle to employ and maintain the personnel we currently have. We constantly have to cut and reduce hours and pays in order to just maintain jobs. We have no flex room to hire additional people to cover when people are out sick or vacation. It puts an a great strain on the company to provide 3 sick days pay for full time employees.

Guy M. Birkhead, Vice President of Operations, Warren Corp., Stafford Springs

This mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs.

Sue O'Connor, President, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Manchester

Most businesses have sick time policies in place, along with other benefits, and most provide for their employees to the best of their ability. Benefit packages based on market conditions, competition, and overall work flow, are often discussed and negotiated privately with employees prior to being hired.

Morton F, Reich, President, Goal Sporting Goods, Inc, Essex

If enacted, this bill will create another in a growing list of burdens that highlight Connecticut as a state that has gone beyond reasonable in the cost of doing business.

Rita Savoie, Human Resources Manager, U.S. Button Corporation, Putnam

We laid off one-third of our employees just to stay in business in this state. We just started hiring again, but mandating paid sick leave will impact our company.

Robin Inbrogno, President, Human Resource Consulting Group, Seymour

This mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs.

Philip B. Borgia, Director, Human Resources, RSCC Wire & Cable, LLC, East Granby

This mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs.

John Winfield, President, Abbott Associates, Milford

We have 13 employees. If I am mandated to provide paid sick leave, I would have to provide six additional days to them for time off at my expense and hardship raising my overhead an extra 2% as well as creating an extra workload to the remaining employees.

Charity Folk, Executive Director, Simsbury Chamber of Commerce, Simsbury

This mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business when companies can least afford it.

Karen Wasserman, Owner, Seniors Helping Seniors, Waterford

It will result in lower pay and may force me to raise senior home care rates beyond what most seniors can afford. The ultimate result is likely to be business closure and lost jobs.

Susan M. Bushnik, Vice President/Human Resources, American Eagle Credit Union

We utilize 25 to 30 part-time employees, representing 10% of our workforce. This would place an additional burden on employers by requiring sick time for part-time employees.

Marian R. Barberi, Vice President of Human Resources, New Castle Hotels & Resorts, Shelton/Norwalk

This mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs.

Edward Abrams, President, Utility Communications, Inc., Hamden

By forcing small companies to comply with a standardized policy you are taking control away from owners and forcing many to lay off employees, and worse case scenario, close companies.

Alan E. Ortner, President, Sirois Tool Company, Berlin

It will also allow less flexibility for employees to negotiate for the benefits they really want. At a time when Connecticut needs to be doing everything possible to help businesses recover and grow that last thing that should be done is to increase costs and mandated benefits.

Christian Queen, Owner/Operator, Highland Mfg, Inc., Manchester

This mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs.

Peter Fink, Manager, Human Resources, Theis Precision Steel Corp., Bristol

The employees of our company have negotiated personal days off with pay, 11 paid holidays, bereavement days off with pay, birthday off with pay, paid vacation days, etc. This bill will just add to the cost of the company with no production to pay for these additional days off. The small manufacturers are struggling and the divisions of the large corporations have left the state. Our company cannot afford additional cost without the risk of more layoffs to survive.

Rhett Beauchemin, SPHR, Director, Human Resources, Highland Park Market, Manchester

This legislation would dramatically add to a retailers cost of doing business.

David Lewis, Owner, Operations, Inc., Stamford

In short, to introduce such a bill at a time when the economic climate in the state is so dire is both misguided, a strong demonstration of warped priorities, and a kick in the gut at a time when so many small businesses are hurting already.

James K. Maurer, Center Director/Owner, Almost Home Adult Daycare, LLC, Danbury

Called in “sickness” at the workplace often is not for genuine illness. I do not presume to decide when an employee needs time off and will work with them to meet their personal and illness needs. But to assign a set number of hours for sick pay absolutely guarantees the days will be taken.

Bruce Dworak, Owner/Operator, Hobson & Motzer Inc., Durham

This mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs.

Teresa I. Odell, Customer Service Representative, Bircron Electronics Company, Canaan

This bill would be putting added burden on already strapped companies. I ask that you re-evaluate this bill; the State of Connecticut cannot afford to lose anymore industry.

Paul DeRenzo, Owner, Raymon Tool, Hamden

As a small business owner for 15 years in Connecticut, I believe this bill would put us at a huge disadvantage in competing. It is beyond comprehension that our legislature is continuously attacking business with unnecessary mandates.

Newman M. Marsilius, President, PMT Group, Bridgeport

As a manufacturer, we already provide excellent benefits to our employees in Connecticut – we provide 3 paid sick/personal days, 11 paid holidays, 5 weeks of vacation, profit sharing, and a 401k plan. We suggest that you address those employers who are taking advantage of their employees and not paying benefits, and not penalize companies that are paying good benefits.

William J. Jordan, President, Stanley Wiesen Glass & Metal, Inc. Hartford

In the company I own we implemented a policy twenty years ago that has incentives for employees to earn days on top of their vacation days. They can use these for sick time or other personal needs or they can accrue them and tag them onto a weekend or to use as mental health days. We ask that they plan the use of these days in advance to lessen the disruption, but we do not penalize them if they have an immediate need, such as an illness or a family member with an illness. Responsible employees will still come to work on time and not call in sick because they got up and wanted to have a day off, but the irresponsible employees will abuse their sick days and still come in late and not plan with their employer in advance when they have a doctor's appointment or other need for a day off other than emergencies. Let's not water down the workforce anymore that it already has been.

Deborah W. Ceil, Owner, CEIL Plumbing & Heating, Inc, Pawcatuck

I can already tell you that employers will immediately change vacation policy to read vacation/sick time which will include the mandatory sick pay and decrease vacation time. That would be the only fair thing for the employer. Requiring any more of businesses is only going to make it harder to compete and maintain quality service. Come December, employees will be calling in sick left and right which will only add to a difficult time of year for employers.

Larry Tucker, Executive Vice President, Nursing Services, Inc., East Hartford

As a provider of home health care, we are trying to maintain a delicate balance between the increasing costs of business in the State of Connecticut and keeping rates affordable for seniors and others who pay out of pocket for their services. A mandate to pay sick time will result in higher payroll costs. Unlike other types of businesses, our services are provided in the home on a “one to one” basis. Under this bill, we would have to pay sick time to the ill worker and also pay the replacement worker with no ability to recoup this additional cost. We operate with very small profit margins and simply cannot afford to absorb this additional cost.

Mary P. Fitzgerald, President, Acme Wire Products, Company, Mystic

Acme Wire Products is a significant contributor to the tax base in the town of Stonington and the State of Connecticut. Currently, we are the largest precision wire fabricator in the state. This bill will increase our labor costs and would cause us to reduce other employer benefits, such as vacation time. In addition, the added cost of state imposed mandates such as paid sick leave would cause Acme Wire to curtail the hiring of additional employees in an attempt to control costs.

Tom Mercaldo, President, Aquinas Consulting & Staffing Solutions, LLC, Milford

It is a difficult jobs environment in Connecticut right now as more and more jobs are being lost to locations in other states because of the cost of employing people in Connecticut, and because of employer mandates imposed by the legislature. So it is hard to understand why in an environment where employers are letting employees go left and right, the state is considering imposing another employer mandate.

William A. Manthey, VP/CFO, Bridgeport Fittings, Inc., Stratford

In looking at this bill, it is my understanding that language in the bill counts any vacation/paid time off as meeting the sick pay requirements. This means that for our company which has a policy that gives employees time off we would not be affected. Nevertheless we oppose the bill. We are currently viewed as a state with high energy and tax costs. Becoming the first state in the nation to have a mandatory sick pay bill will add to this image.

John. F. Kessler, Vice President, Kessler Construction, Hartford

The state needs to figure out ways to cut their own benefit packages not increase ours. The only reason state legislators want to pass this bill is to create an excuse for the state and municipal workers to keep their cushy benefits they already have, such as paid personal days, paid sick days, paid vacation days, paid holidays, big pensions, big health benefits, and on and on.

Ronald Turmel, Vice President/General Manager, H & T., Waterbury

H&T is a manufacturer of deep draw metal stampings for the Consumer Battery industry located in Waterbury. We employ 115 people. This proposal will substantially increase our business costs and could force us to reevaluate the other benefits we provide our employees.

Sheila C. Mahony, President, Mahony Fittings, Inc., East Windsor

This past year has been another trying one with the promises of financial recovery continuing to evaporate while our health care insurance costs have risen 20% over the previous year. As such, I find it preposterous that Connecticut would once again choose to consider this bill in what continues to be dire economic times for small businesses.

Jack Traver, Jr., President, Traver IDC, Waterbury

Many of the members of the Small Manufacturers Association of Connecticut are barely keeping their heads above water. Many companies would have no choice but to take other major cost cutting measures to remain solvent and since employee expenses constitute nearly two-thirds of most companies' overhead, the cuts would most likely be in this area.

Patricia L. Ritchie, President/CEO, Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, Inc., Fairfield

We oppose this bill because this mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs.

Stan Sorkin, President, Connecticut Food Association, Farmington

we oppose this bill because this mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs for several reasons, chief among them: the bill makes no distinction between full time and part time workers; this bill would force many companies to rethink the benefits currently offered to their workers; and would force companies to consider cutting their workforce or raise prices.

Trisha Randall, Manager, Omni Physical & Aquatic Therapy Center, Inc., Milford

We employ both full time and part time workers and we provide health benefits and paid time off for all full time employees, however, it is a struggle every month to pay the health insurance premiums and payroll taxes. This bill will force us to only hire full time employees simply because we cannot afford to give part time workers paid time off.

Pamela C. Brault, Benefits and Compliance Manager, Capewell Components Company LLC, Cromwell

We oppose this bill because this mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs. We estimated that it would cost our company $188,000 to implement. We currently do not have a strong enough business climate to support this added expense without putting our company in financial jeopardy.

William Waseleski, President, Century Spring Mfg. Co., Inc., Bristol

We have been in business for 35 years. We already provide 4-5 weeks of paid vacation time to our employees. We allow our employees to use their vacation time whenever and for whatever reason they want. Adding paid sick leave to their already generous vacation benefit will not enhance public wellness, they already can take paid time off when they are sick.

William P. Dragan, President, Centrix, Inc., Shelton

We oppose this bill because this mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs.

Angela S. Petitti, Vice President, Gary's East Coast Service, Shelton

We oppose this bill because this mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs. In particular, it would be a financial nightmare to have sick time rollover to the following year.

Michael D. Garfield, President, Garfield Builders, Inc., Falls Village

We are a small business that gives our employees paid health insurance, paid holidays, and paid vacation. We would need to reduce these benefits in order to reduce costs.

Thom Goracy, Practice Administrator, Dental Associates. Danbury

Connecticut already has some of the highest business tax and mandate requirements in the country, to say nothing of the new effort to raise taxes. All these things hurt businesses, especially as we try to fight our way out of the mire of the recession.

Tina DeNapoles, Tranquility Mind & Body Wellness Spa, Milford

As if our labor costs are not astronomical enough, Connecticut wants to make it even harder for businesses with mandatory sick leave payments. Will it be better for employees when they are let go because the company cannot survive the costs of remaining open?

Susan Grudzien, Vice President, Applied Mechanical Systems, Woodbury

We oppose this bill because this mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs. We are now facing a 20% increase in premiums in order to continue providing health care as a benefit.

Candice L. Corcione, Executive Director, Tolland County Chamber of Commerce, Vernon

We oppose this bill because this mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and will force companies to reevaluate the other benefits they provide for their employees.

David A. Arcesi, President, ICI, New Britain

Businesses are already struggling with skyrocketing healthcare, energy, and commodity costs while trying to remain competitive in a global economy. The state is struggling with high unemployment and record deficits. This bill will make both situations worse.

Sheila Dion, HR Director, Design Label, East Lyme

We currently do give three days of sick leave to the employees. This bill will substantially increase our business costs and could force us to reevaluate the other benefits we provide our employees.

Richard Bouffard, Owner, Truelove & Maclean, Inc. Watertown

Employers are having a very difficult time competing with companies located in lower cost areas both domestic and global. This bill will have a detrimental effect on our economy.

Giri Agrawal, President, R & D Dynamics Corp., Bloomfield

Our electric costs as well as tax burdens have grown exponentially. An additional payroll burden would be a stress factor that we are not sure our company could overcome.

Bernadette Libero, President, Professional Driving Company Inc., Branford

We are a small driver leasing company trying to stay alive in this horrible economy adding another mandate would push us over the edge.

Thomas Piquette, Vice President/General Manager, Metallizing Service Company, Inc., Elmwood

We operate three manufacturing locations in Connecticut, with a total of over sixty employees, and we know that this bill will make it more difficult for companies to justify operating in this state. Operating a successful business is hard enough, especially in today's economic climate. Please don't make it more challenging than it already is.

Michael Girard, President, Simscroft-Echo Farms, Inc. Simsbury

To add personal days in our business is a cost we simply cannot afford. A lost day costs not only wages but if an employee calls in “sick” at the last minute, a crew and/or piece of heavy equipment sits idle for a day because we could not find a replacement operator for that specialized piece at the last minute. That could easily cost thousands of dollars in lost revenue in a single day, not to mention those on the crew that may be sent home because the backhoe operator decided to call in “sick”.

Frank Bernstein, Owner, Import Tire Co.

I am an owner of a small business and it is important to me that this state is competitive to prospective new businesses that might come to Connecticut. This bill would definitely hinder that prospect.

Dennis Dressel, President, Founders Insurance Group, Inc., Torrington

Businesses are already struggling with skyrocketing healthcare, energy, and commodity costs while trying to remain competitive in a global economy. Its absolutely unbelievable that the state would even consider this bill given the current economic climate.

Eileen Candles, Vice President and Territory Manager, Kelly Services, Farmington

As the wife of a small business owner, I urge you to reject this bill, that will cause us to have to cut other worker benefits or healthcare contributions in order to afford this mandate.

Ashley Cipollone, Human Resource Administrator, Wilton

Our business will be harmed because it will be operating at a competitive disadvantage as compared to small businesses. This will cause us to eliminate certain provisions in the company leaving people jobless, freeze raises, eliminate other forms of paid time off, and reduce company contributions to insurance and pension plans.

Mike DeVino, Owner/Operator, J & M Safety Consulting, LLC, Waterbury

Increased regulations will hamper many businesses that I provide services for. It is very likely that would have to make spending cuts in other areas such as what I provide to make up for the regulatory costs of this bill. This would reduce my income and reduce state income tax and sales tax that I generate.

Anne A. DeMaillie, Comptroller, Design Professionals, South Windsor

As the only accountant/clerk/record keeper in the office, I can't imagine trying to keep track of time off based upon hours worked. Truthfully, it's as ridiculous as asking for payments in quarters rather than checks.

George Tsioflikis, Owner, G's Burgers/Carvel, Watertown

It will force me to lay off employees as there's no way I would be able to afford to keep them.

Jennifer O'Brien, Owner/operator (family business), Canton Racing Products, North Branford

As a small business, I have been doing everything I can to keep my business going and my employees employed during these tough economic times. This bill would negatively impact my ability to both hire new employees and to provide wage increases and additional benefits to my current employees.

Steve Dufresne, Parts Manager, Camerota Truck Parts, Enfield

It is already challenging to operate in Connecticut. If our costs increase due to benefits mandates, our business will be force to cost shift this expense to our employees and cutback existing benefits that are offered to employees.

Marc Nemeth, President, Jonal Laboratories, Inc., Meriden

Jonal Laboratories provides paid sick time to our employees, in spite of this fact I am opposed to this mandate. I am concerned that our statewide economic future will be jeopardized. Connecticut is losing our young and talented employees to regions of the country that have a more rational economic strategy and vibrant economic climate.

Renee Maher, Associate Manager, ikonisys, New Haven

Mandating our company to offer a certain amount of paid time off would not give our company the freedom to create our own policy, one which we deem fit to the demands of our business. Critical work would suffer as employees would be given a significant amount of time to take, decreasing the productivity levels.

David L. Friar, AIA, President, Friar Associates Inc., Farmington

I have owned and operated a small business for over 30 years. Throughout this time, I have consistently offered a generous benefit package, including paid time off for all regular employees who work over 30 hours per week. I feel such a mandate would encumber my business, which is struggling due to the continuing poor economic climate. I currently provide employees with a time off package that does not stipulate that they must use the time for sick leave only. If we are forced to provide a specific amount of time for sick leave alone, we will have to rewrite our entire leave policy.

Hedwig A. Pallardi, Owner, Flat Dog LLC, Manchester

It should be up to the individual company to set policies. It's all about freedom. We make that choice, not the state. It would force my company to cut back on other benefits to make up the costs.

John N. Lavieri, President, Sterling Engineering, Winsted

We oppose this bill because this mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs.

Stan Valencis, President, ACSYSinteractive, Connecticut/New York/Boston

The mandate's regulations, if approved, would force me to reduce other expenses and benefits such as employee contributions to health care, compensation, health and wellness programs, vacation pay and could even result in a reduction in force as well as minimizing our growth.

Jeff Roblyer, President, President, CEO Focus, Milford

Business does not need more regulation and workers do not need a guarantee of paid time off. Businesses left to themselves will look out for their workers. The cost of compliance with unnecessary and unwarranted regulation, such as this bill, is one of the greatest detriments to a healthy and productive workforce.

Donna Rees, VP Human Resources and Information Technology, Centrix, Shelton

Over the past few years, Centrix has been doing its part to create more jobs in Connecticut by carefully evaluating our people needs and then hiring 15 men and women in positions that never existed before at Centrix. However, we need the flexibility to determine what paid time off policies work for our company and in our industry – for financial, competitive, and productivity reasons. The resources that would be required to implement and maintain this mandate would require Centrix to cut back on our employee recognition and rewards programs, tuition reimbursement and other training and development programs, all of which we believe are more valuable to both Centrix and our employees, as well as the State of Connecticut, than mandated sick leave.

Patrick Hayden, President, Donham Craft, Inc. Naugatuck

We have vacation time and sick pay time and we have less than 50 employees but I don't wish that on every business and industry in this state. Some businesses are lucky enough to have profits that can support these benefits. With the continued decline in the manufacturing segment of our economy due to the regional high costs as well as foreign competition, we have less and less companies to offer our product and services to. This bill will not improve that situation.

Marcy MacDonald, VP of Human Resources & Corporate Secretary, Memry Corp.

This bill will greatly increase our company's expenses. In order for us to afford to pay the increased costs we may have no other choice but to start eliminating positions and/or reduce pay. Employee benefit options may be limited as well. Since this law is not in effect in other states, Connecticut businesses will have a tough time competing with companies in other locations due to their increased expenses. This would make it very difficult for companies to expand and continue growing.

Lisa Mizzone, small business owner

I am a very small business owner with limited employees. We are primarily a service business and it is crucial to this business that employees produce daily to cover the high overhead that we all face. I cannot justify paying people who could inevitably take advantage of the paid sick time.

Michael W. Dolen, Vice President, Human Resources, Coburn Technologies, South Windsor

Coburn is a newly formed business spun off by Gerber Scientific. We chose to keep our headquarters and operations in South Windsor on the campus off I-84 that was once the headquarters of Gerber. We are a small company struggling to provide benefits to employees comparable to what they had enjoyed previously as part of the larger Gerber organization. We do so, not because of any legal mandate, but out of a need to be competitive to attract and retain employees. We do not need legislation and mandates that will further increase costs and force us to reevaluate the other benefits we provide to our employees. Such benefits have already been adversely affected by the economic climate, other mandates, and rising costs to provide benefits.

Mark McGowan, President Stop & Shop, New England Division

We oppose this bill because it places an unfair burden on employers that already have comprehensive benefit packages in place that include paid sick leave. The collective bargaining agreements we have with our unionized associates address a wide variety of employee benefit and compensation issues, and by mandating that all employees accrue paid sick leave according to a one-size-fits-all formula the proposed bill would disrupt comprehensive benefit packages that have been specifically negotiated with and agreed to by our union associates. For the same reason, the bill would be very costly and difficult to administer.

Robert P. Williams, President, Harkness Industries, Inc.

Attempting to pass this bill given the current economics in Connecticut indicates a lack of understanding as to the impact on companies trying to recover from the recession. Any attempt to support this harmful bill suggests a desire to support a political agenda rather than do what makes sense for business. Becoming the first state in the nation to mandate paid time off for employees would be a regrettable step backward, given the state's high unemployment, struggling economy and weak job-growth prospects. Other states have avoided it just because it is a job-killer.

Harold S. Harris, Chief Engineer/Director, Plastics & Concepts of Connecticut, Inc. Glastonbury

Almost all the businesses that will be directly affected by this bill already have a paid sick leave policy. By passing this bill, you will be making paid sick leave a mandate instead of a benefit for the employees of Connecticut's companies. Connecticut has had 23% lower job growth than the rest of the states since 1990.

Sal Geraci, Vice President/Owner, OGS Technologies, Inc., Divisions: Waterbury Button, Diversified Eyelet, Northeast Emblem & Badge, Cheshire

Even if giving employees additional “non-productive” time off with pay was a good idea, the timing to even consider this bill forcing companies to add additional costs to the products they manufacture is like asking a drowning man if he would like a glass of water. It is not like companies are feigning an inability to take on additional costs in order to retain profits. Unfortunately, every time we are forced to raise the prices of our goods, we lose customers that will buy a less expensive product – usually, one manufactured off-shore.

Jennifer Sylvia, Controller, New England Stair Company, Inc., Shelton

As a Connecticut employer of approximately 20 employees, we understand this would not immediately affect us. However, we have in the past employed as many as 50 employees. Also, we understand that this could eventually be pushed back down onto an employer of our size and this would adversely affect our operations in numerous ways. This bill would mean laying off an employee, issuing pay cuts across the board or eliminating paid holidays to make up the cost.

Alan F. Lamson, AIA, AICP, President, Duly Authorized, FLB Architecture & Planning, Inc., East Hartford

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, it is impossible to imagine why the state would consider legislation that would require employers to provide paid sick leave. Negotiating work conditions is part of the process of employment. The bill would limit a company's ability to establish labor policies that would allow it to continue in business and would make companies in Connecticut less able to compete with the adjacent states of Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island for skilled employees.

William M. Pascucci, Chairman, AMTEC, West Hartford

I am the owner of a company in Connecticut that employs less than 50 and provides a minimum of two weeks of paid vacation for every employee. Vacation time, which can be used for any reason, is accumulated at the rate of one day per month following the month of employment through the month preceding the anniversary date of hire. Therefore, each member of our staff accumulates 10 days per year at a minimum. I would like to point out the deficiencies in our voluntary program: 1) my staff tends to come to work when they are ill in an effort to save vacation leave for when they are feeling well, 2) abusers of our program tend to call out sick on Monday and Friday, and 3) abusers of this program have no accumulated time. They tend to use every hour within 30 days of receiving their allocation of vacation time. In some cases, they use it before it is earned knowing that it will have accumulated before the end of the accumulation period.

Matthew McConnell, CEO, New England Truck Sales & Services, Inc., DBA Southern Connecticut Freightliner, Branford

This bill would place one more financial “straw” onto my company's already overburdened expense structure; it is quite possibly the straw that would break our back. My controller estimates that if this bill passes, it will increase our operating expenses by $100,000 to $150,000 during the course of a fiscal year.

David Forrest, Owner/Operator, Forrest Machine, Inc., Rocky Hill

This bill will substantially increase costs and could cause us to evaluate other benefits we provide to our employees.

Kenneth J. Flanagan, President, Flanagan Industries, Glastonbury

This bill is unnecessary and unwarranted. We are already struggling with high unemployment, rising costs of living and future tax increases that will inevitably be born by all working individuals. This bill will substantially increase our day-to-day business costs and will force us to re-evaluate the many other benefits that we currently provide to our employees.

Paul Guidotti, President East Branch Eng. & Mfg. Inc., New Milford

This bill does nothing more than increase the costs of an already overburdened business community. You will undoubtedly hear testimony of many who are in support, citing anecdotal reasons why this bill is necessary. While we can all sympathize with each story, the reality is, if passed, these very same people may be out of work because their employer has chosen to move to a friendlier locale, had to cut labor costs, or just gave up.

Kathie Hanratty, President, Jaci Carroll Staffing, Middlebury, Torrington, West Hartford

We oppose this bill because this mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs.

Diane Becker, Becker Construction Company, Willington

When a law takes away a business' cash, the business is less able to create a job. This mandatory paid time off bill takes cash away from business and bestows a gift on current workers. This bill does not help those without work, and would be a free gift to those who do – creating work conditions where none currently exist.

Russell Paine, Vice President, Paine's Recycling & Rubbish Removal, Inc. Simsbury

Companies cannot and will not invest in the future of Connecticut to expand their businesses, improve employee benefits, and create the new jobs that this state needs so desperately if the cost of doing business continues to skyrocket and our customers decline.

Charles Dionisio, Connecticut Plywood Corporation, West Hartford/Milford

The legislature is wrong to make decisions that management must make to enable profitability and survival of that enterprise. It will guarantee increased absenteeism and costs associated with replacement of that employee for the day.

James W. Cummings, Vice President Operations, Deringer Ney Inc., Bloomfield

We oppose this bill because this mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business. It will decrease our ability to grow and create jobs.

Kathleen K. Deming, Vice President of Finance, Arthur A. Horton, Inc., Electrical Contractors, Canton

We have put a lot of time and consideration into determining what benefits we can afford to provide to our employees. We feel the benefits we currently provide are fair. We are a small business with 36 employees working in the construction field. The cost of doing business in the state has skyrocketed, and the added costs of providing increased sick leave will make us much less competitive when bidding against electrician in other states.

Mary Filippone, HR Manager, Thompson Brands, LLC, Meriden

The businesses of this state simply cannot afford any additional burdens at this time.

Del Merenda, President, i-MARK, Inc., Farmington

While we are in the midst of the most serious sustainable job crisis in our nation's history, how can supporters of such an onerous bill as this be so removed from reality and blindly propose its passage? The bill's supporters need to take their heads out of the sand and focus on growing Connecticut jobs.

Beth Evans, President, Evans Associates (Environmental Consulting) Bethany

One of the benefits of being a small business owner is being able to create a work environment that is flexible and responsive to the individual needs of my employees. Mandating paid sick leave eliminates some of that flexibility and puts an additional financial burden on the business owner.

Larry J. Becker, President, Reidville Hydraulics & Mfg. Inc., Torrington

We oppose this bill because this mandate will substantially increase the costs of doing business and make it difficult to grow jobs. Instead, use your collective experience and talent to work on bills that really matter, like making Connecticut attractive to do business.

Reported by: Pamela Bianca & Marie Knudsen

Date: 3/10/2011