Family Values @ Work

Business owners speak up for paid sick days

March 11, 2010

Why do many business owners support paid sick days? Because when employees can’t afford to care for themselves or a loved one, businesses end up with sicker, less productive employees and a less stable office. And, more people lose their jobs— the last thing we need in this recession.

All in all, paid sick days are the smart thing for businesses. But you don’t have to take our word for it.

Here are comments from small business owners working with our coalition partners who know the value of investing in their employees:

Terri Monley, owner of the Denver Moving Company, says: “Our workers don’t have to live in fear of losing their pay or their jobs simply because someone isn’t feeling well, or needs to see a doctor, or stay home with a sick kid. Doing things this way is good for our employees. It’s good for our business. And it’s good for our country.”

Monley points to the many demands families have today. “The last thing they should have to worry about is balancing their top two demands:  their responsibilities at home and their responsibilities at work.”

Paul Eldrenkamp is a residential remodeling contractor based in metropolitan Boston who started his business in 1983 and employs 15 people. “Our sick day policy acknowledges that [employees] have lives to lead outside of the work day,” he told Massachusetts state legislators, “and that acknowledgement by itself fosters employee loyalty and reduces turnover… It’s also important for a healthy workplace to encourage people who are sick to stay home.”

Amy Kirkland runs three health-care related businesses in Milwaukee. Arguing in support of the paid sick leave ordinance in Milwaukee, she said, “This ordinance should be seen as a plus for businesses who want to locate in Milwaukee – it will add to the stability of the workforce and the economic and public health of our community.”



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