Family Values @ Work

A healthy employee at one business is a healthy customer at another

A healthy employee at one business is a healthy customer at another

January 15, 2015

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Larry Kenny and I, along with my partner, Mik Harris, own Sweet Retreat Boutique – a specialty cupcake shop in Newark, New Jersey. We would like to thank you for the support that you have shown to small business owners throughout your presidency and for how you continue to steer the nation’s economy in the right direction by addressing the need for earned sick days legislation.

Mik and I had the honor of participating in the White House Summit on Working Families to focus on creating a 21st century workplace that works for all Americans. There we highlighted support for the Paid Sick Leave ordinance that passed last year in Newark, New Jersey. It was important to us to be a part of passing such a vital local ordinance because we understand what it means to lose a day’s pay when a loved one is sick. It means that a working parent caring their children will have to go without groceries for the week or run the risk of missing rent for the month. Too many working Americans are living pay check to pay check struggling to make ends meet and an incident like a child being sick can be an emotional and financial burden.

Our families suffer when workers cannot earn paid sick days. Working parents cannot focus on taking care of themselves or their children if sickness strikes – which as we all know is inevitable – because they are worried about losing their jobs. My employees do not need the added stress of worrying about losing their job because they need a day off due to illness.

When community members do well in health and finance, so will our business. Supporting this policy is an investment–an investment in my employees, an investment in my business, and investment in the community. I don’t think of Newark’s earned sick days ordinance as an added cost or an extra expense, it’s really a necessity. Earned sick days policies level the playing field and force big chain corporations that tend not to provide good benefits to compete with small businesses like Sweet Retreat.

Increasing the economic security of average workers is good for business. A healthy employee at one business is a healthy customer at another. Business thrives when the local and national economies thrive. Guaranteeing that every worker can earn paid sick days is about ensuring that every job is an economy-boosting job. That should be the goal of both small businesses owners and those who own and operate large corporations.

With your support and leadership, I am confident that business owners across the nation will better understand why it is so important to allow employees to earn paid sick days. Please use your guidance and influence and urge each and every state in the Union to not only consider, but take the proper steps necessary, to pass an earned sick days policy for all working families.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and may God bless the United States of America.

Larry Kenny
Newark, New Jersey



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