Will Obama make sick days mandatory?

The feds are trying to push a new law that could have a big impact on your company’s bottom line.

On March 18, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced the Healthy Families Act (HFA) to the House of Representatives. If passed, the law will require companies with at least 15 employees to provide up to seven days of paid sick leave a year.

Both full- and part-time workers would be eligible. They’d earn an hour of leave for every 30 they work, accruing up to 56 hours in a 12-month period. Employees would start accruing leave as soon as they’re hired and could use it after 60 days.

Workers would be able to use the time to care for themselves or a family member who’s ill. The law allows employers to ask for proof from a doctor.

Companies could also be sued for retaliating against an employee who uses sick days.

What about your current policies?

The bill states that employers already meeting the requirements of the law won’t have to offer additional leave. However, experts say it’s not clear what this means for employers with all-purpose paid time off plans, with no distinction between vacation and sick days.

What chance does the bill have of passing? In the House, the HFA has 101 co-sponsors and the support of the Democrat majority. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) is expected to introduce a companion bill in the Senate soon.

Similar legislation was proposed in 2007 but was stalled, partially due to a veto threat from President Bush. However, Obama has vocally supported the bill and will sign it if it’s passed by Congress.

We’ll keep you posted.

0 thoughts on “Will Obama make sick days mandatory?”

  1. Lisa Dennison

    It’s about time someone started standing up for the employees. I fully support more sick leave and it would be nice if someone started considering 4 day work weeks at 8 hours instead of 5 out of 7. Giving people more chance to enjoy life and not only work to survive! Thank you President Obama!!

  2. Does this mean my firm can reduce the number of paid sick days currently offered? We have double this amount. We’ve been around awhile, use better benefits to attrack better talent.

    Maybe Congress will pass a law that allows only someone who has actually run a business making laws that effect businesses. Only in America would we put idiots in charge.

  3. In our 32 years of business experience, we have learned that you reward the behavior you want to promote which in this case is consistent reliable attendance. You do not reward the behavior you must discourage which in this case is the unnecessary use of sick days if you want to be able to stay in business, be competitive, and earn a reasonable profit.

    I have seen many instances, especially in government type postions, where the majority of employees always use all the available sick days every year plus, of course, their vacation days. Paid sick days simply become more paid vacation days in most cases.

    Employees can take a leave of absence in a situation where they truly are not able to work for an extended period of time. There are too many government mandates in place already!

    Brad Wagnon

  4. Colleen Kelsick

    There will always a certain number of employees who abuse benefits. However, most employees will recognize the value of accumulating a bank of sick hours so they have something to fall back on if they suffer a serious illness or injury.

    Employees who abuse sick time will/should be disciplined for missing too much work because they will burn it as fast as they accrue it and their absences will probably will not be protected under FMLA.

  5. Sure it may sound nice for those who work in big companies. but for us who work in companies with 15 or 16 employees it means that 1 or 2 of our co-workers will be let go… Thanks Obama

  6. I think it up to the owner. Remember the owner is the one taking the risk. Employees are not. Employees are not chained to a job. They have the choice to leave and go find another job anytime they want. The owner is vested in his business and should be able to do what he thinks is best (since it was his money that started the company). There should not be government intervention unless the government is willing to eliminate the risk. Same with employees. They want the rewards without the risks.

  7. If the days are use or lose – you have just given 5 days of vacation. If the days can accrue over the employees years of service you have just created an unfunded liability for the company. Many companies are barely surviving now – unemployment rates are higher than ever. What is more important working or having paid leave time. I think people without jobs would prefer to work. We can’t address all problems at once. Lets look at the big ones and get them under control before we start worrying about putting more businesses out of business.

  8. Programs like these are socially desirable. Life should be a living color experience, not shades of grey. IF a majority of Amercans really want these societal benefits, they should be paid by society, not businesses. Every time the government cooks up a new program it adds to the administrative cost of doing business. Add this to the face value cost and it’s a significant burden. We presently have a 15% Social security model split between the taxpayer and the employer. Why can’t we fund “social” benefits in a similar manner? If we were to add 1% to the social security figure, what would the revenue stream be? I think it would be most significant and might even be administered by the SS Administration. As a small businessman, I think the 1% benefit could and should be added to the employee’s contribution and not the employer’s, but that’s what Congressional “haggling” is for.

  9. To those that favor this legislative proposal:
    Please place your life savings into a business, work 70-80 hours a week, live within all the regulations already imposed, do it for a minumum of ten years and report back to us.
    Unless you have already walked in these shoes, your dreamy and “polyannish” opinions should come off the table and placed into a business of your own. If you already have that experience, please write a book so that the rest of us have a “beacon of leadership” to follow in our attempts to get out of this legislative nightmare of government taking care of everyone’s problems.

  10. Wake up everyone. we have a global economy in which we compete. Every now mandate, legistative requirement, tax and regulation that is imposed on the small business’s of Amerca means fewer jobs. As the costs go up for small business’s, the more likely those jobs will be outsourced to other countries at greatly reduced cost. I just called AAA emergency road service, talked to a very helpful service representative in Ireland and got great service. That job was once an American job.
    My brother-in-law just lost his $120,000 per year computer programming job to an engineer in India who does his job for $12,000 per year. You be the judge of why those jobs are no longer done in America. Those jobs will not come back to the USA. The cost of doing busness in America can no longer compete with the outsourcing opportunities. We have a choice; continue to increase the costs of doing business here or outsource your job to another country for 1/10 of the cost of doing it in the USA. Do you want sick days or a job?

  11. This will hurt more people than it helps. My company, which offers 4 weeks of Paid Time Off, is changing it’s policy in anticipation of this change by reducing the 4 weeks PTO to 2 weeks of PTO and 2 weeks of sick leave. Health employees just lost 2 weeks of vacation. Thanks Mr Obama. Another great idea like the credit card changes that have only hurt consumers.

  12. Let companies use benefits to attract desirable employees. We use to give less sick days than other companies and it cost us good employees. We substantially increased this and some other benefits to retain good talent.

    Let the job market drive employee incentives. Otherwise companies being forced to do this will just pay less or hire less people. It’s a ridiculous idea.

    Whatever happened to seperation of Federal and State powers. The Federal government has no business regulating businesses with a single office in a single state.

  13. I recently changed jobs and have been here for 6 months. You have to be here 1 year before you get a sick day. And then at that you only get 2 sick days after the first year. People get sick and need to be able to stay home not only for yourself, but to keep from giving something to the other employees. I would love to see the law pass something that requires companys to give at least the seven sick days. I worked for a company for 15 years and probably never took more than 5 sick days, but if I needed them they would have been more than happy to let me stay home.

  14. The most successful companies offer good benefits and are not subject to these regulations. The ones who are worried about this abuse their employees, and in turn, make lower profits, so they fear every regulation to hold on to their last dollar. Why would you want to force sick employees to come in to work and infect your other employees and thus lower productivity? So what if they might use a sick day to take a mental health day, or take a personal business day, it makes their work time more productive and don’t act like you have never done it!

  15. Get real Lisa. Go get a job that allows you to set your schedule and work only 4 days a week and get paid for only working that many! Your response is comical! And kindly stay out of the admin of small business Mr. O. Socialism is not equal to democracy!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *