Getting Down to Business Newsletter - April 2013

April 02, 2013 | Jodie Levin-Epstein

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  Getting Down to Business:
  News on Employers and Paid Leave
   April 2013
In this Issue

Getting Down to Business is a CLASP monthly update on the latest news about business and paid leave. If you have news you want to share with your colleagues around the country, let us know.

Businesses Play Pivotal Role in Sick Days Wins and Momentum

Three local paid sick days’ wins, all in the month of March, were heard around the nation:  Portland, Oregon; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (awaiting the Mayor’s signature), and New York City (a certainty-in-the-making after a deal was negotiated).  The moment and the momentum are huge.  Businesses played a pivotal role in advocacy in each city.  The Everybody Benefits campaign in Portland was spearheaded by Andrea Paluso, executive director of Family Forward Oregon, who observes that “a vital piece of the win in Portland was engagement of businesses in key sectors—from restaurants to retailers to construction.”  In Philly, over 30 businesses coalesced in support of the measure that passed the City Council.  Marianne Bellesorte, senior director of policy for Pathways PA, explains that “business supporters of sick days are busy keeping their businesses running, so helping leaders stay engaged is hard to accomplish, but worth its weight in gold.”

In New York City, small business support throughout the campaign and at a recent hearing was important in making the case for paid sick days. Sherry Leiwant, co-president of A Better Balance, explains that “the Speaker of our City Council who is running for mayor has consistently said she opposed the bill because it would hurt small business.  Many small businesses came forward to say that far from hurting small business, a requirement of paid sick days would level the playing field and ensure that businesses doing the right thing with respect to their workers wouldn't be at a disadvantage.  The strong voices of small business were really important in demonstrating that paid sick days is not anti-business, which ultimately helped us succeed."  Soon, over a million workers in the Big Apple will have sick days for the first time.  These groundbreaking wins around the nation should be a wake-up call to Congress about the need for strong federal legislation.  To read more about this, check out our new Huffington Post piece.

Small Businesses Speak Up for Federal Healthy Families Act