The oft-debated paid sick leave bill has made another appearance at the legislature. And as in the past, it has been voted out of the committee, this time by a narrow vote of 6-5 on Thursday, March 3rd.
None of this ought to come as any surprise. It’s been voted out of committee for the last four years. And as predicted last November, Governor Malloy’s support for the measure suggested that the bill would at least see some debate.
But it’s not as though there is smooth sailing ahead. The Hartford Courant ran an editorial on Thursday calling the bill bad for business. And even supporters believe at best it could pass after a Senate tie of 18-18 (which would be broken by Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman). That of course, assumes that both parties have the stomach to bring the measure to the floor for debate.
Senate Bill 913 (which can be viewed here) has a few notable points to it:
- It would only apply to employers who have 50 or more employees;
- Employees could accrue and use up to 40 hours of paid sick leave time each year (5 days worth);
- Employees could carryover up to 40 hours each year, but could still only use the allotted amount;
- An employer that already provides employees with vacation, personal days, or paid time off of at least 40 hours will be "deemed to be in compliance".
- Employees would be able to take paid sick leave for various medical reasons or when the employee is a victim of family violence or sexual assault.
The CBIA has been lobbying hard against the measure; its issue sheet can be found here. The complaints about the bill are that it ignores business needs, disregards economic realities, and misdirects efforts at an issue that is smaller than it thought.
It’s still unclear whether the votes will be there in the General Assembly, but one thing is for sure: We haven’t heard the last of paid sick leave.