Rep. Candelora Criticizes Sick Leave Proposal
Connecticut Manufacturers Say Bill Will Kill Jobs
Rep. Candelora, assailed Democratic leaders for trying to impose a job-killing mandatory sick leave proposal on all businesses today during a manufacturing business panel discussion today at the Legislative Office Building. House Democratic leadership held a press conference today on the mandatory sick leave proposal only one day after Democrats staged an elaborate press conference claiming job growth is their signature issue this legislative session.
Manufacturing companies present at the panel discussion overwhelmingly expressed this legislation would have devastating consequences on Connecticut’s struggling manufacturing industry.
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, Candelora noted. If passed, 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.
“In my recreation business, many of my part time employees are teenagers. When they want to attend something or are sick, they have a flexibility to find someone to cover their shift or earn extra paid time when someone else needs a shift cover. The paid sick leave would eliminate that ability and put the burden on the employer to pay for the time away, the unintended consequences being some businesses simply won’t be able to afford part-timers, like young teenagers, looking for a job,” Rep. Candelora expressed his concern.
San Francisco has a similar law requiring companies to provide paid sick leave. “We seem to take cues from California, first in our outrageous energy costs, which extraordinarily affect manufacturers, and now with this sick leave legislation. Maybe next will we follow California into bankruptcy,’’ Candelora said during the panel.
The bill would apply to businesses that employ 60 people or more. Candelora noted “There is an exception in this bill for small businesses. That’s because it’s bad for small businesses. If this legislation is harmful for small businesses, than it is also harmful for large businesses because it is bad for business. Legislation like this only reinforces the anti-business reputation of Connecticut. This is why we can’t compete with Texas, North Carolina or China, because businesses can’t afford to operate here. When businesses leave, so do our jobs.”
House Republicans, joined by business owners at the Capitol, held a press conference on the proposed legislation. 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.
Candelora added, “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.”