HARTFORD – House Republicans assailed “schizophrenic’’ Democrats for trying to impose a job-killing mandatory sick leave proposal on all businesses today, one day after Democrats staged an elaborate press conference claiming job growth is their signature issue this legislative session.
Connecticut would become the first state in the country to require all companies to provide mandatory sick leave for part-time and full-time employees. The Democrats picked the annual Business Day at the Capitol to roll out their sick leave plan – a clear sign that the majority party relishes its anti-private sector stature in the legislature, Republicans charged.
“The Democrats claim they want to create job growth back in their home districts because 90,000 Connecticut people have lost their jobs in this recession,’’ House Republican Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., said. “And then they roll out a mandatory sick leave bill in Hartford that they know companies across the state vehemently oppose. They are being schizophrenic.’’
The bill that will be raised in the Labor and Public Employees Committee Thursday requires that any employee who logs at least 520 hours of work a year receive seven paid sick leave days. The 520 hour minimum defines a part-time worker by any standard, Cafero noted.
Only San Francisco and Washington D.C., require companies to provide paid sick leave. “I believe that is telling. One city boasts the highest cost of doing business in the country and the other, Washington, is the most dysfunctional,’’ Cafero said.
The bill would apply to businesses that employ 50 people or more. Cafero and other Republicans were joined at a Capitol press conference by business owners, one of whom said his company has 48 employees. The owners said they would not be inclined to add more payroll if that mean their costs of doing business went up.
A similar bill last year was approved in the House but never came out of the Senate because the chamber was split 18-18 on the bill. Cafero said business groups are worried that the legislature was even considering enacting the legislation.
Cafero said, “Companies of all sizes are wary of uncertain business conditions and make their decision on where to locate and grow based on the possibility of adverse mandates on them. We have got to break the cycle of pushing through job-killing laws especially at a time of exploding unemployment and record state budget deficits.