Thursday, January 15, 2015
Obama urges mandatory paid sick leave for smaller employers, hints at paid family leave
President Obama will proposed that employers with more than 11 people be required to offer 7 paid sick days a year. USA Today has a typical story here.
There was a face-off debate on CNN this morning between two female representatives in Congress, from each party. Most larger employers offer associates paid leave. In many fields, like IT, many people work for contracting companies but it is typical for the contracting company to offer some paid leave and paid vacation. But the pressure to work as independent contractors tends to reduce the effectiveness as benefits.
The problem with mandatory benefits from the workplace will (as with health care) be the effect on smaller businesses and startups. Internet startups that hire programmers in a house (the way Facebook started) would have to offer it, but it probably wouldn’t be that hard for most of them to do it.
On the other hand, some very small “businesses” tend to remain as individuals or couples working alone, not wanting to deal with regulations. This could suppress employment.
National Partnership does have a website advocating European-style paid family leave, here. This would tend to encourage singles and the childless to subsidize those who have children with free or lower cost labor, but then, eldercare affects anyone and comes into the picture as the population ages – redefining the debate on “family values” considerably.