Business Groups Wary of State Measures Requiring Paid Sick Leave According to State Net Capitol Journal

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According to State Net, California and Ohio are just two of at least a dozen states that have considered legislation this year to force employers to provide their workers with a minimum number of annual paid sick days.

For most Americans, illness is simply an inconvenience that means taking a few paid days off from work until you feel well enough to get back on the job. But for almost half of the U.S. workforce, nearly 60 million people, time off sick means no pay, leaving those employees with the unenviable choice of working with some nasty bug or losing precious income they can rarely afford to go without.

But as the July 7 issue of the State Net Capitol Journal reports, that could soon change in California, where Assembly Bill 2716 is currently working its way through the Legislature and appears certain to make it to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk. If signed into law, California would become the first state in the nation to force employers to grant their workers paid sick time. A similar proposal is poised to go before voters later this fall in Ohio, where polls show 70 percent of the people support the measure.

Business groups like the National Federation of Independent Business claim that requiring paid sick leave will lead to a significant loss of jobs, mostly among low-wage workers. NFIB recently released a study that claims the California bill alone will impose $4.6 billion in new direct costs on Golden State businesses and cost another $59.3 billion in lost sales over the law's first five years, leading to the elimination of 370,000 jobs. Paid sick leave supporters counter that paid sick leave actually saves employers money by reducing employee turnover and preventing ill workers from infecting others.

According to State Net, California and Ohio are just two of at least a dozen states that have considered legislation this year to force employers to provide their workers with a minimum number of annual paid sick days. To get the full story, check out the new issue of the State Net Capitol Journal on the State Net Web site at http://www.statenet.com.

About State Net:
State Net (http://www.statenet.com) has helped organizations track legislative and regulatory developments for more than 30 years. Headquartered in Sacramento, State Net monitors every bill in the 50 states, District of Columbia and Congress along with all state agency regulations. The company delivers online services, issue-based consultation and analysis that enables the nation's leading organizations to effectively respond to opportunities and risks in the states.

State Net Capitol Journal delivers coverage of public policy issues from all 50 states. Featuring analysis of emerging trends, state budgets, governors, legislatures and elections, Capitol Journal readers gain an intelligent overview of the major political issues and events in state governments.

References: Ehisen, Rich (2008, July 8). "Sick Daze" State Net Capitol Journal. http://www.statenet.com

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Art Zimmerman

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