Labor and Public Employees Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-6187

Title:

AN ACT MANDATING EMPLOYERS PROVIDE PAID SICK LEAVE TO EMPLOYEES.

Vote Date:

3/3/2009

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/24/2009

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Working Families Party

REASONS FOR BILL:

To require employers with fifty or more employees to provide six paid sick days to their employees for use for the employee's sickness, the employee's child's sickness, or to deal with sexual assault or family violence issues.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None submitted.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Donna Levitt of the San Francisco Department of Administrative Services provided testimony on San Francisco's experience with a Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. San Francisco adopted this ordinance in 2006, and it was implemented on February 5, 2007. Overall, there has been a positive response to the ordinance. She is not aware of any employers in San Francisco who have had to reduce staff or made any other significant changes in their business as a result of the sick leave ordinance.

Elizabeth Carafarella of Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. supports this bill because it provides protection to victims of sexual assault so they can recover from the trauma of assault while still maintaining their employment.

Connecticut State Medical Society supports this bill because access to paid sick days would allow patients to receive early medical care. This reduces the severity of the illness in many cases.

Dr. Larry Deutsch supports this bill because paid sick days enhance Public Health, help families hold onto their jobs and their health, increases preventative health care, and are smart business and good government.

Jon Green of the Connecticut Working Families supports this bill because it protects public health for employees and consumers alike. If an employee goes to work sick, they spread germs to all the other employees, and to the customers. It also reduces costs for business owners since sick workers are not as productive.

Janice Williams supports this bill because it enables people to get the medical treatment that they need, before medical conditions worsen. For an hourly worker, losing a percentage of pay from taking a sick day is a huge financial burden. She believes it is insulting to assume that a worker will abuse the sick leave policy if it is enacted.

Gloria Duquette supports this bill because as a Certified Nurses Assistant, she doesn't receive any sick days. She is unable to afford to miss a day's pay, so she has to go to work and risk spreading illness to her patients.

Sharon Patterson Stallings supports this bill because she feels it is an important investment in Connecticut's working families. She feels the Governor's public service message that encourages sick workers to stay home ignores the realities of low income workers who live paycheck to paycheck.

Deborah Noble supports this bill because she feels that workers that go to work sick are likely to spread illnesses to their coworkers and the public. She says studies show that providing paid sick days actually help businesses and it is not a costly mandate. When employees come to work sick it lowers productivity.

Mark Dziubek is in support of this bill because the people who work at jobs that do not offer sick days are the ones that can least afford a missed payday. He also has children and needs to stay home to care for them when they become sick.

Beverley Brakeman of the United Auto Workers supports this bill because 77% of low wage earners-those who can least afford missed pay-lack paid sick days. She says research indicates that savings from providing sick days far outweighs the costs, and that presenteeism (employees who come to work sick) costs employers $180 billion annually.

Art Perry of 32BJ SEIU supports this bill because in this economic downturn many Connecticut families are living in poverty. They are financially unable to take an unpaid day of work.

Brian Anderson of Council 4 AFSCME supports this bill because if sick workers report to work they spread the illness and make even more workers, and the public they serve, sick.

Louis Lista, owner of the Pond House Café, supports this bill. He has found that once he began offering sick leave he saved money with reduction in employee turnover. He has retained employees for years by providing decent benefits.

Johnathon Kantrowitz of Queue, Inc. supports this bill because providing sick days helps his business attract and kept the best employees. It also reduces workplace mistakes that would be made by employees that come to work sick.

Ellen Small of the Connecticut Alliance for Basic Human Needs supports this bill because it addresses basic needs. The need to care for yourself and the need to care for the health of your family. She says an estimated 650,000 Connecticut workers do not receive a single paid sick day all year.

Scott Macdonald, Esq., SPHR supports this bill because he believes it would have a positive effect on productivity, employee morale, employee satisfaction and engagement, and bottom-line success.

Phil Sherwood of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group supports this bill because it gives families time to recover from illness, attend routine medical appointments, or to care for sick family members.

Dena Fleno supports this bill because as a home day care provider, she sees firsthand the effect of non-existent paid sick days on families. Many parents are forced to drop their children off at daycare will illnesses that they spread around.

Donna Kosiorowski, RN of the Association of School Nurses of Connecticut supports this bill because almost half of workers in the private sector do not have any sick days. Millions more are not allowed to use their sick days for their children. As a school nurse, she has seen the difficult situation this leaves parents in when their children are sick.

William Harshaw supports this bill because as a cook with no sick leave, he is forced to go to work sick. He cannot afford to take unpaid leave, and he feels he spreads his sickness to the public he serves.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Connecticut Construction Industries Association, Inc. is opposed to this bill because it would incur significant cost. A mandate on employers will add to their cost of labor and force them to provide less pay or other benefits.

Liza Andrews of Connecticut Association of Nonprofits opposes this bill because nonprofits cannot take on any additional burdens like the increased administrative and personnel costs associated with this bill.

Kia Murrell of Connecticut Business & Industry Association opposes this bill because the state and national economies are difficult and unpredictable at this time. Mandating paid sick leave benefits will increase costs and jobs. Employers may be forced to cut jobs in order to compensate for the new mandate. Forcing employers to give the same paid sick time to employees will limit their flexibility and encourage employee abuse.

Frank Sumpter of the YMCA opposes this bill because the current economic downturn has already put an increased burden on the YMCA and they cannot afford the mandate.

Alexandra Brax of Seconn Fabrication LLC opposes this bill because she feels that companies like Seconn have already invested in and improved the community, and should not be made to comply with additional mandates.

Mortimore Saffron of Stelray Plastic Products Inc. opposes this bill because it will contribute to costs, and offers the suggestion of employers allowing employees to trade vacation time as a substitute for sick time.

Carol Pendagast of F.W. Serra Inc. opposes this bill because she believes employees will abuse the sick leave policy.

Marian Barbieri of New Castle Hotels and Resorts opposes this bill because State government should not dictate business policies. She feels that mandating sick time for part-time employees would have a negative impact on particular businesses.

Martin Geitz of The Simsbury Bank opposes this bill. He feels that businesses should set their own policy, such as choosing a “paid time off” policy in lieu of a “sick leave” policy.

Rick Willard of NFIB opposes this bill because all companies are different and should have flexibility in setting policies.

AT&T opposes this bill because they feel it takes away employers flexibility to manage its workforce and prevent abuse of its policy.

Marshall Collins of Marshall Collins & Associates opposes this bill because of the impact it would have on non-profits that are already struggling in this economy.

Richard Toney of American Sleeve Bearing LLC opposes this bill because he feels that the policy is an “entitlement” that businesses can't afford.

Mag Morelli of CANPFA opposes this bill because it would negatively impact non-profits that largely employ part-time workers.

Andy Markowski of NFIB opposes this bill because one size fits all policies do not work well for small businesses, and he feels that 100 employees or less should constitute a small business.

Metro Hartford Alliance opposes this bill because it would decrease the ability of companies in the state to be competitive in an unstable marketplace.

Lisa Hutner of IEC of New England Inc. opposes this bill because it hinders productivity and entrepreneurship, which are critical to building a strong economy.

The following individuals and organizations listed below oppose this bill because it will substantially increase their business costs, will have a negative effect on productivity and competitiveness, and could force them to reevaluate the other benefits they provide their employees:

Scott Serviss of the Pumpkin Patch Child Care Centers, Kathi Fenny of The Spencer Turbine Company, Michael Garfield of Garfield Builder Inc., Thomas Piquette of Metallizing Service Company, Inc., Leo Fournier of Camerota Truck Parts, Ted Hsu of Horizon Services Corporation, David Krett Jr. of Family Care Plus, Paul Murgo of Tri-Lift Inc., Anson Mooney of Hartford Despatch & Warehouse Company Inc., Jim Maurer of Almost Home Adult Daycare, James Neal Jr. of Treadwell Corporation, Lynn Giroux of Essex Savings Bank, Joseph D'Errico Sr. of Colonial Colour Inc., Peter Kirk of The Bank of New Canaan, Leslie Lenser of Valassis Communications Inc., Cregg McWeeney of the P&M Industrial Finishing Company, Kerry Callahan of Updike, Kelly & Spellacy P.C.; Judi Spreda of Peter Paul Electronics Company Inc., Rand Joly of Ernest Joly & Sons Inc., Chandler Howard of Liberty Bank, Thomas Krajewski of Atlantic Inertial Systems, Christina Lavieri of Sterling Engineers, Melanie Cammilleri of Hop Meadow Country Club, Gregory Gravel of Whitney Center, Salvatore Camerota of Camerota Truck Parts, Mark Haskins and Patricia Cushman of Practical Safety Solutions LLC., Jeannine Frink of the Barden Corporation, Peter Sheehan of CPE Electric LLC., Tom Beaudoin of T&T Electrical Contractor's Inc., John Hennessey of The Music People Inc., Nicholas Miller of the Comfort Keepers, Verna Moran of Seitz Corporation, Brian Kronenberger & Sons Restoration Inc., Vera-Lynn Guibbory of Bali Handcrafts, Deborah Murray of Westmark Corporation, Donald St. Onge of The Center for Bone & Joint Care, Sharon Fialkievicz of the Country Club of Farmington, Eric Johnson of Precision Graphics, Roland Royer and Allen Royer of Sterling Sintered Technologies Inc., John DeGray of Kerite, Target Enterprises Inc., Richard Wheeler of ABA-PGT Inc., Mathew Kachur of Cookson Electronics, Dennis Jacobs of D.E. Jacobs Associates Inc., Robert Bettua of B&B Tool Co. Inc., Linda Henderson of A-1 Glass, Bruce Silverstone of Aquarion Water Co., Mahoney Fittings Inc., Kevin Cyr of Deburring House Inc., Dennis Cardello of Collinsville Savings Society, Carolyn Hazen of Comfort Keepers, Steven Cyr of Deburring House Inc., Greg Besson of Moore Center for Rehabilitation, Dianne Veley of Siemon Company, Sandra Karosi of Whitcraft LLC, Charles Cavanagh of Metallizing Service Company Inc., Andrea Perce of Cookson Electronics, Kenneth Aldrich of New Haven Hospital for Veterinary Medicine, Calzone Case Co., Robin Imbrogno of The Human Resource Consulting Group, Arnold Berman of Event Resources, Gerald Beauton of Southern Connecticut Freightliner, Charles Dionisio of Connecticut Plywood Corporation, Chris Meacham of Now It Works, David Campbell of Ring's End Lumber, Richard Creed of Creed Monarch Inc., Gary Caravella of CNC Engineering, Michele Caulfield of Stevens Company Inc., Rick Rice, Norma Burns of Infiltrator Systems Inc., Kathleen Deming of Arthur A. Horton Inc., Debbie Dorman of TLD, Frank Todaro of Asterisk Inc., James Sorenson of Smurfit-Stone, Edward Keough of Keough Plaza, Susan Bushnik of American Eagle, Lisa Olander of Birk Manufacturing, David Durity of Deburring House Inc., Susanne Spargo of Mott Corporation, Lisa Napolitano of Quality Sign Crafters, Normand Goulet Jr. of United Centerless Grinding Co. Inc., Walter Camp of Welding Works, John Krin of American Electro Products Inc., Lucy Teixeira of Aquarion Water Company, Stephen McGuff of Reflexite, Frank Mascia of United Aluminum, Thomas Peck of ABA-PGT Inc., Marie Besson of Moore Center, Joanne Murphy of Saybrook Country Barn, Arlene Horenstein of Help At Home, Nicholas Fanelli of Raynard & Peirce Inc., Bertram Geuser of Analytical Consulting Technology Inc., Alan Ortner of Sirois Tool Co., J. Michael Sutton of Benefit Planning Services LLC, Maria Teixeira of Welding Works, Sherri Helget of Engineering Services and Products Company, Richard Bouffard of Truelove and Maclean Inc., Gary Bergeron of Connecticut Trailers, Al Romano of Mott Corporation, Charles Clark of Engineering Services & Products, Gloria Francis of Joma Inc., Dennis Patouhas of Comfort Keepers, Thomas Curtain of Ulbrich Stainless Steels, Morton Reich of Goal Sporting Goods Inc., Sal Geraci of OGS Technologies Inc., Vito's Pizzaria, William Manthey of Bridgeport Fittings, Newman Marsilius of the PMT Group, Barry Bosworth of Stamford Tent, Janis DeCaprio of Thornton Medical Communications, Teresa Morrison of Walter Surface Technologies, Philip Borgia of Innovative Engineered Cable Solutions, Karen Maines of IPC Systems Inc., Jamie Gregg of Colonial Bronze Co., Bruce Dworak of Hobson Motzer Inc., Mary Filippone of Thompson Brands LLC., Jay Charkow of ITM Inc., Gary Peck of NAT, Judi Otton of Advanced Decisions Inc., Joan Case of Action Packaging Systems Inc., Sheila Dion of Design Label, Curt Rutsky of Syntac, Susan Macdonald of Cook Willow Health Center, Thomas Pastorello of Liberty Bank, Thomas Mercaldo of Aquinas Consulting, WestPort Precision, Chris Lukas of iTech, Francis Barton Jr. of Nowak Products Inc., James Escudero of A Better Choice Pest Control LLC, John Salce of Hygrade Precision Technologies Inc., Jack Traver Jr. of Traver IDC, John Yusza Jr. of Casia Alarm, Robert Macca of CT-PHCC, Mass Mutual, Mary Hermann of Kensington Glass & Framing Co. Inc., Robin Wilson of Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce, Denise Carter of ERCCA, Nicholas Fanelli of Raynard & Peirce Inc., CABE, Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, Chuck Moran of CLA, Robert Moore of Moore Center, William Waseleski of Century Spring, Paul Murgo of Tri-Lift, Linda Irish-Simpson of Standard Manufacturing Group, Michael Paine of Paine's Inc., Russell Paine of Paine's Inc., William Manthey of Bridgeport Fittings, Donna Noonan of American Metal Crafters LLC, Kathryn Sirico of Curls Unlimited of Westport LLC, Paul Sitar of Syferlock Technology Corp., Joseph LoPresti of Eastern Bag & Paper Group, Robert Guertin of Specialty Printing LLC, Bill DeDominicis of Sky Top Lanes, Catherine Weeks of Coldform Inc., James Cunningham of Holiday Hill, Rita Savoie of U.S. Button, Daniel Moffa of H&T Battery Components, Donna Weisenberger of Plas-Pak Industries Inc., Charles Frey of Plas-Pak Industries Inc., Donna Noonan of American Metal Crafters LLC, Thomas McKiernan of Abercrombie, Burns, McKiernan and Co., Thomas Haynes of Haynes Co., Jacqueline Tamayo and Steven Camerota of Camerota Truck Parts, Laurie Roy of Alcoa Howmet, Marlene Jung CPA LLC, Michael Grant of Housing Consultants LLC, Barbara Kalosky of North East Transportation Inc., Thomas Costello of Siemon Company, Diana Midolo of Zygo Corporation, Robert Daddorio of Residential Management Corporation, Bruce Bennett Nissan, Margaret Clouse of Aplicare Inc., Keith Brown of Kesten-Brown Insurance, Pete Marandino of Marandino's Supermarket, Deborah Benoit of Sterling Sintered Technologies Inc., Richard Bouffard of Truelove & MacLean Inc., Carl Roehrich of City Line Florist, Howard Goldfarb of Leed Himmel Industries Inc., Bill Keough of Keough's Paint and Hardware Inc., Mary Fitzgerald of Acme Wire Products Company Inc., William Dragan of Centrix, Bob DeZinno of the Connecticut Restaurant Association

Reported by: Tricia Chadwick

Date: 3/5/2009