Kevin Shivers, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in Pennsylvania, wrote an open letter to the Pittsburgh City Council last week requesting that the council vote against mandatory paid sick leave for city businesses.
Copying every member of the City Council along with Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Shivers asked on behalf of NFIB that they reconsider the proposal introduced by Councilman Corey O’Connor for the sake of small business owners struggling to recover from years of recession.
“We believe this bill will hinder job growth in the city when council should be focused on creating jobs and supporting the small-business economy,” Shivers wrote. “This bill will likely discourage small businesses that are considering opening in Pittsburgh or expanding there.”
Even Philadelphia, which has adopted such a policy, still exempts smaller businesses. Shivers pointed out that while the council has taken positive steps to make the bill less burdensome, mandating a set number of sick days could have unintended consequences.
“One benefit of working for a small business is that the owner is usually flexible and there is often a family-like atmosphere,” Shivers said. “But if each hour must be clocked and recorded, it will mean less flexibility… .”
Additionally, Shivers said most small companies lack a Human Resources department and/or staff to manage extra paperwork that compliance would bring. He also said just because the law requires compliance does not automatically make it more affordable.
He emphasized that “a ‘one size fits all’ paid sick leave mandate for small businesses is just too restrictive and … likely to cause more harm than good for all concerned.”
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