Paid Sick Leave (or, the unions want political payback right now)

Paid sick leave is a burning issue right now, but it seems to be flying in virtually unnoticed.

It’s all about political payback from the politicians that SEIU and other unions helped put in office. The H1N1 flu is providing perfect cover to pass this union gift as a public health and safety measure.

In New York City (the city that I left for Texas, and not a moment too soon), take a good look at this news story from WNYC:

City Council to Consider Paid Sick Leave Bill This Week
by WNYC Newsroom
NEW YORK, NY November 16, 2009 —This week the City Council will consider a bill unions are touting as an anti-swine flu measure. Employers say it would kill jobs.

The paid sick leave bill would require private employers to offer full pay to workers who call in sick, no doctor’s note required.

Danny Latham runs a telephone answering service in Brooklyn. He says the measure would cost him a bundle, and take away his ability to plan staffing for the holidays.

REPORTER: they could just turn around christmas day, I could have nobody there working. They all decide to take a sick day.

But the Working Families Party, which is campaigning for the bill, says half of all New Yorkers lack paid sick leave. And poor New Yorkers are most likely to go to work even if they’re contagious, because they need the money.

The City Council will hold hearings on the measure tomorrow. There are already enough votes for it to pass.

The Working Families Party (ACORN/SEIU) is for it. They own the NY city council. That’s all you need to know.

Wait a minute, did I read that right? “The paid sick leave bill would require private employers to offer full pay to workers who call in sick, no doctor’s note required.” What private business can operate like this? Suppose ten employees all call in at once (no doctor’s note required) and are later found to have gone fishing together?

Just the stuff that employers need in this challenging economy, huh? Makes you want to think twice before hiring anybody, adding to our unemployment.

Check this November 13th story (and the union letter to city council speaker Quinn) from the New York Daily News’ The Daily Politics blog by Elizabeth Benjamin:

 Labor To Quinn: Time For Paid Sick Time
By Elizabeth Benjamin

Now that the election is over, the Working Families Party and its union affiliates are turning up the heat on Council Speaker Christine Quinn when it comes to the labor-backed party’s current cause célèbre: Paid Sick Time.

The act, introduced this summer, is supported by well over half of the current 51 Council members. Several of those members will be departing at the end of the year, but most of their replacements ran with WFP support, and some even campaigned on this issue.
The Council is scheduled to hold a hearing on the Paid Sick Time Act next Tuesday. As Azi noted earlier today, several lawmakers sought to bring attention to the issue by inviting First lady Michelle Obama, who expressed support for the policy, to testify.

Surely, President Obama is against such an anti-business bill. Let’s check The New York Times:

November 14, 2009, 11:33 am
Obama Backs Mandatory Sick Leave Law
This news from our colleague Steven Greenhouse, a Times reporter who posted on the Economix blog. Swine flu, he writes:

“has given momentum to Congressional efforts to enact legislation that would guarantee paid sick days to tens of millions of workers — although it is far from clear that such legislation will be enacted. Those legislative efforts received added momentum on Tuesday when the Obama administration backed the Healthy Families Act, which would guarantee seven sick days a year to workers in companies with 15 or more employees.”
Not surprisingly, the leading small-business lobbies, like the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Small Business Association, are opposed to mandatory leave, even in the face of the H1N1 virus. ” The impetus behind this legislation is not sensible and lacks understanding of the complex dynamics of small businesses,” the N.S.B.A, wrote (pdf) to Mr. Miller. And: “it is unfathomable that Congress would consider legislation mandating additional costly requirements on small businesses.”

Yes, you were distracted. The massive health care bill got you down, as well as Afghanistan, Fort Hood, and any number of other stories. You were paying attention to Obama’s bows.

Meanwhile, every union’s wet dream slips by in plain sight. The unions are pushing this both locally and federally. They’re good at this.

How much damaging legislation can American businesses take?

When American businesses suffer as a logical result of all this, is that change you can believe in?