Sick leave proposal would hinder economic recovery

State Rep. John Frey joined his House Republican colleagues on Feb. 24 in calling out  Democrats for trying to impose a job-killing mandatory sick leave proposal on all businesses, just 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.

“At a time when Connecticut is bleeding jobs  — we have lost 94,000 during the economic downturn — and struggling to break out of a period of stagnant growth, imposing additional unnecessary burdens on businesses is simply irresponsible,” said Rep. Frey. “We need to be working on changing the culture in Hartford to attract businesses and jobs to our state, not working to make Connecticut a place to avoid for business owners and entrepreneurs.”

The bill that will be raised in the Labor and Public Employees Committee Thursday (2/26) 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, Rep. Frey noted.

The bill would apply to businesses that employ 60 people or more. 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.

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