During an hours-long debate today the State House of Representatives debated proposed legislation which would place a tremendous burden on all Connecticut businesses and non-profit organizations that employ over fifty people. The bill requires that those full-time and part-time employees be given paid sick time at a rate of one hour for every forty hours worked.”I think the goals of this bill are very admirable, but the stark reality is that passage of this bill will ultimately hurt businesses that are already struggling in a tough economy” said Rep. Rebimbas. “We are the only state in the United States enacting this kind of law. By doing so, this is a disincentive for businesses to relocate to Connecticut as opposed to any other state in the nation.”
Rebimbas noted that right in her district the Naugatuck YMCA, a non-profit organization, would have to raise an additional $6,000 to $8,000 per year through fundraising efforts. “When we are the only state requiring businesses to do this, established businesses may go to other states and it will be very difficult to entice any new businesses to come here,” said Rebimbas.
Rebimbas said she believed the measure was also unfair because it excludes workers of businesses and non-profits that have less than fifty employees as well as employees younger than eighteen years of age. The measure additionally costs $500,000 per year to the state by extending the benefit to workers at the State University System and Regional Community Colleges. It will also have a corresponding impact on municipal governments and state agencies directly related to the cost of sick hours taken by full-time and some part-time employees.
The bill also makes no distinction between businesses that are working with a profit or a loss, or if they are in bankruptcy.
Rebimbas noted that field workers from the Working Families organization have been leafleting her district misrepresenting what the bill does and what its impact on businesses and jobs would be by providing limited information on the bill and its application. “It is because I support the working families in my district that I oppose this measure,” said Rebimbas. If this measures passes some employers may have to downside their companies in order to afford the mandate. They may decide to relocate their businesses out of the state of Connecticut or simply have no incentive to employ more than 50 employees. This is not a hypothetical but a realty for the Naugatuck businesses that I have spoken to directly.”
The measure passed the House by a vote of 88-58 and now goes to the Senate for action there.