Wednesday, January 8, 2014

18 monts later, Connecticut's paid sick leave law is a success

Connecticut's 18-month-old requirement that large companies offer paid sick leave to employees hasn't raised costs -- but it has raised morale and productivity.

That's the conclusion of two researchers who surveyed 251 Connecticut employers and interviewed 15 Connecticut business managers.  Eileen Appelbaum, Senior Economist at CEPR and Ruth Milkman, Professor at CUNY concluded:
A large majority of employers reported that the law did not affect business operations and that they had no or only small increases in costs. Businesses most frequently covered absent workers by assigning the work to other employees, a solution which has little effect on costs. Just 10 percent of employers reported that the law caused their costs to increase by 3 percent or more. Since the implementation of the paid sick days law, Connecticut employers saw decreases in the spread of illnesses and increases in morale...
Some other conclusions (thanks to Working America):
  • Employee turnover was reduced 3.3%.
  • Sick employees coming to work sick was reduced 18.8%.
  • Illness was spread 14.8% less often than before the law.
  • Productivity increased 14.9%.
  • Morale, motivation and loyalty increased among employees (according to their employers).
  • Payroll costs increased by 3% or more for only 10% of employers.
  • Only 10.6% of employers reported reducing employee hours because of the law.
  • Only 15.6% of employers reported increasing prices because of the law.
No one should be surprised. Paid sick leave has already worked in other parts of the country. ThinkProgress tells us:
An audit of Washington, D.C.’s policy, which was enacted in 2008, found that it didn’t encourage business owners to relocate or discourage new ones from opening up. Job and business growth have remained strong under Seattle’s law after a year, with the former actually stronger. Job growth was alsostronger under San Francisco’s law after it began in 2006 and very few businesses reported a negative impact, most saying it was either neutral or positive.
Jersey City, N.J., New York City, and Portland, Ore., have also enacted paid sick leave laws. More are considering them in Massachusetts, Oregon, New Jersey, and Vermont as well as the cities of Newark, N.J., and Tacoma, Wash.

So next time some anti-worker jerk tries to tell you paid sick leave will harm business, tell him to stick all that in his pipe and smoke it.