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Patrick aide gives backing to proposal for paid sick days

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Real World, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Can you please leave businesses alone. Then people wonder why it's so expensive to do business in states like ours, or why companies eventually flee, taking countless jobs with them. This bill would mean some small company with tiny margins and maybe 5 employees, would be forced to shell out 35 paid worker days for ZERO production, and somehow this is supposed to make their business more efficient? So say people who have probably never owned a lemonade stand, nevermind run one, or who have been working on the gubmit rolls for all their lives. What comes next, forcing companies to buy back those forced sick days when they aren't used, just like the gubmit does?


    Patrick aide gives backing to proposal for paid sick days
    Employers would have to provide


    By Kyle Cheney
    State House News Service / April 13, 2011

    Governor Deval Patrick’s top labor adviser threw the administration’s weight behind a proposal yesterday that would require employers to allow workers to earn seven paid sick days a year, calling the proposal a “basic right.’’

    Tweet 1 person Tweeted this..
    Yahoo! Buzz ShareThis .Joanne Goldstein, secretary of labor and workforce development, argued that the plan would enhance workplace productivity, and rejected assertions that sick leave policies should be left up to individual businesses.


    Patrick aide gives backing to proposal for paid sick days - The Boston Globe
     
  2. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #75 Jersey

    To ask the question is to answer it.
     
  3. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #24 Jersey

    What do you mean by "buy back," and what types of government does this?
     
  4. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #75 Jersey

    People save up their sick days for years and then get a big check when they leave or retire. Example:

    State Workers Taking Millions In Unused Sick Pay CBS Boston

    Massport Accrued Sick Bank Balance as of 1/29/2011
     
  5. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    This kind of crap needs to end now! Sick days are for when you're sick. Hey, I can even accept calling in sick when you're not sick. But if you're never sick, good for you! But no one deserves to be compensated for not being sick unless a company wants to offer that as some sort of incentive.

    But gov't workers especially shouldn't be compensated for not taking sick days. It should just be a safety-net for people not to lose a paycheck if they're sick. All small businesses should be exempt.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  6. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #24 Jersey

    But new employees can't do that anymore, right? Apparently, if I am reading correctly, that practice has been stopped years ago but people who worked under that particular agreement were grandfathered in.

    So, ok, bummer.....but the fact that the local government no longer has a "buy back" policy shouldn't lead RW to speculate that now the government is going to force private employers to follow a "buy back" policy "just like the government does" when, in truth, the government no longer has that policy themselves.
     
  7. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #24 Jersey

    So, in short, people who work for small businesses, and who generally make less money and have significantly less benefits that people who work for large businesses do, don't need the same safety net that better paid employees get if they get sick?

    In other words, they can somehow better afford to lose a paycheck if they get sick than a better paid person can?
     
  8. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

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    Why is it a business's responsibility to offer that? And why is it the government's role to force a business to offer that?

    This is an issue we've struggled with in one of the businesses my partners and I own. Our company isn't profitable enough yet to offer health insurance, so where we came out is that we do offer paid sick days. (These are mostly hourly workers, at relatively low wages -- though well above minimum wage.) And we provided far more than 7 to more than 1 employee.

    But to me, the crux of it is that we made the decision from a business standpoint and, as private owners, from a personal standpoint.

    If the government thinks people should be paid when not working, shouldn't the government pay for it? Why push these costs onto a 3rd party (employers)? It's easy to say that a cost should be incurred when you're not the one paying for it.

    (By the way, getting back to the problem lower wage employees face re illness and income, I'd speculate that lower income people have more health problems than higher income. I could be wrong, but I'd expect that it is the case and further compounds the hardships for them -- which are very real.)
     
  9. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    No longer? Google is your friend. The policy at Massport doesn't reflect the policy at say Mass Highway, or some other city, town, or state agency. They all make their own rules, when they bend the taxpayer over during their CBA "negotiations". So I don't think it's far fetched to at least consider the possibility that the same people who want to force private businesses to give away free paid sick days, would later require those businesses to buy them back if they go unused.

     
  10. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #24 Jersey

    I would imagine you are correct - and perhaps the fact that they, more than their better paid and compensated brethren, are forced to work while in the early stages of say, the flu, are much more likely to have it turn into pneumomia because they did not follow the standard "rest" instructions which help stave off a worsening of a disease.

    They are also much more likely to spread a disease among their co-workers, and possibly customers, because they do not have the option (or luxury) of staying home while contagious.

    Just from another view point - and a personal one, at that - I've worked for both kinds of places - one which had paid sick days and one which did not.

    I was more more likely to stay home if I were ill from the job which didn't pay me because my mind set had become, "what difference does it make, they aren't going to pay me anyhow so they are not losing anything and I am not hurting them by staying home."

    There's a part of me which believes employees tend to treat an employer as respectfully and with the same sort of integrity that the employer treats them with. If an employer thinks their employee is valuable enough to take care of, to help them out if they are ill, the employee is more likely to return the concern and think twice about causing a potential hardship (ie - calling off) in return.

    Maybe that's just me, though.
     
  11. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

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    I agree with all of that. One of the many considerations we faced was that an employee coming in because they're sick can then spread the illness to co-workers, having a much worse effect than the one person being out.

    But what I come back to (and sorry if I missed it in your response) is, why should the government force this responsibility onto the employer? We're people trying to make a living -- while I feel some personal responsibility for our employees, that's my own personal feeling and my own prerogative. But we're not parents, as the government sometimes seems to think, and we're not piggy banks, as the government often seems to think.
     
  12. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #24 Jersey

    I know you are - and you sound as though you are genuinely trying and that you are genuinely concerned about your employees. Not everyone is, however, and that's where things become sticky and government intervention might be, at times, necessary.

    To a large extent I want to agree with you. It should be a responsible employer's decision - but the sad fact is much of America is not responsible - and that includes small business owners. The bad few always ruin it for the good ones, too, and this may be no exception. I'm sure there are employers out there who, if not forced by governmental rules, would be more than happy to bring back mandatory 60 hour work weeks, child labor and go right back to practicing sexual/racial/religious discriminatory hiring practices.

    I was trying to read the proposed MA law on sick days and it does seem that everyone would be affected. I believe the federal government, OSHA and other regulatory agencies do not hold companies with 20 or less (maybe 10, I'm unsure, exactly) to the same standards it holds those with a larger number of employees. That seems a pretty fair way to do it to me. Less than 20 employees probably means you are still getting started and, as a beginning business owner, a person should be allowed some leeway and some assistance (and being exempt from federal or state employer rules is a form of assistance.) However, once you've grown past 20 employees you're probably doing well - you've grown your company and you've increased your revenue and it becomes time to act like a bigger business and that means following certain set guidelines.

    There's no perfect system. There will always be doucebags who try to scam their government, their employees, their employers, their customers, their constitutants and whoever else they come in contact with.

    So - no real answer for or against, Chico...only that it's a complex problem when looked at from both sides of the paycheck.
     
  13. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

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    Here's where we may differ, though. I don't think a business owner is being a bad guy (or gal) is they choose not to offer employees paid sick days. We do it for business and personal reasons. From the strictly business perspective, we see compelling (i.e., profit-based) reasons for doing it. Another business owner may not have the same circumstances. Or they may, and they're not running their business as well. (or maybe we're wrong and they'll do better)

    Because again, the employer and employee are both deciding what's best for them, aren't they? Why does an employer become responsible for the employee's issues just because they're paying them to do work for them? Why should the government step in and force people to pay other people when they haven't, in fact, provided the services in question?

    (Yes, this general question is a huge and growing peeve of mine. You probably wouldn't believe the levels of paperwork and taxes / fees that are forced upon us by governments at various levels. It is a nightmare, and it's all about (i) increasing revenue for each level of government and (ii) forcing more and more of the responsibility of various government agencies onto employers.)
     
  14. scout

    scout Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #15 Jersey

    A number of organizations, schools for one, were allowing their employees to give their sick days to other members. I'm sympathetic to someone who has an atrocious disease (cancer), but this is crazy. I know some companies stopped doing it when they got a dose of debt. You didn't see that coming?
     
  15. The Brandon Five

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    #75 Jersey

    I worked for a small company where a number of us donated vacation time to a colleague whose wife was dying of cancer so that he could spend time with her.
     
  16. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #75 Jersey

    I don't know about other people, but at the last couple of large companies I worked for we got a PTO (paid time off) bank. The time was to be used for vacation, sick time, whatever. You got so many days and how you used them was up to you. You can roll over up to a week to the following year or even "buy" an extra week (through payroll deduction). If the extra week is not used you have the option of selling it back, but there is no option to roll any time to the following year if you don't sell back that time (i.e. you use it or lose it). PTO can be taken at any time (even if not technically "earned"), but if you leave the company with unearned PTO the funds will be withheld from your final check. If you leave with earned PTO left over you will be paid for those days in your final check.

    All that without Deval Patrick getting involved! Now how did that happen?
     
  17. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #24 Jersey

    Key words there are probably "large company."
     

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