Getting Down to Business (April 2013)
April 02, 2013 | Jodie Levin-Epstein
Getting Down to Business:
News on Employers and Paid Leave
In this Issue
Getting Down to Business is CLASP's monthly update on business and paid leave news. If you have news you want to share with your colleagues around the country, let us know. And be sure to let your area businesses know about Better Workplaces, Better Businesses, a website that aggregates news and research related to business and paid leave and highlights business supporters of paid leave from around the country.
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.
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