Paid leave bill not friendly to small business

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National Federation of Independent Business,

NFIB Senior Counsel, Elizabeth Milito, Esq., testified before the Committee on Education and Labor’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections on the effects the Healthy Families Act (H.R. 1784) would have on America’s small businesses. NFIB argues a one-size-fits-all approach to mandatory paid leave would not be feasible for many small businesses.

Milito expressed three concerns with the Healthy Families Act: 1.) one-size-fits-all mandates take away the flexibility small businesses need and their employees value; 2.) the act is overly complex and has unforeseen, unintended, and hidden costs that hurt small business; and 3.) the paid leave mandate proposed in the act would be one more mandate that would negatively impact small business.

“The problem with debating paid leave legislation is that it ignores the basic fact that most small business owners already provide their employees with paid time off,” said Milito. “The reality is that employers across the country provide flexible, mutually beneficial arrangements that allow employees time off when necessary in a predictable, fiscally responsible way.”

Across the nation, small business owners are showing unparalleled confidence in the economy, as NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index continues to register record numbers, with the number of small business owners reporting “Now is a Good Time to Expand” registering at 28%, one of the highest levels in the 46-year history of the survey.

Milito continues, “Small businesses depend on predictability to stay competitive. A mandate like H.R. 1784 would further complicate compliance with workforce laws for employers and raise costs on businesses. Mandated leave is not a free benefit for employees; mandated leave comes with a cost that businesses will have to shoulder and will eventually be absorbed by the employer, employees, and customers. In a small business with a finite amount of resources, this translates into less money available for wage increases and hiring additional employees.”

The hearing titled, “The Healthy Families Act (H.R. 1784): Examining a Plan to Secure Paid Sick Leave for U.S. Workers” took place at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11, in the Rayburn House Office Building.