Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Seattle To Mandate Sick Leave Policy to Private Businesses (UPDATE Below)

If I were a Seattle business owner, this proposed ordinance would have me really concerned. The Seattle City Council is considering mandating that businesses that operate in Seattle give employees a certain number of paid sick days each year.

The ordinance would require businesses to give workers in Seattle up to five, seven, or nine days of paid sick leave a year, depending on the size of the business and number of work hours accrued.

Larger businesses would have to pay more sick days than smaller businesses. Workers wouldn’t be eligible unless they’ve worked a minimum number of days. Businesses with less than 250 employees would have a year to comply, if the ordinance is passed.  Bigger businesses would have six months. (Source: Seattle PI)

I actually do understand the desire to have some sort of sick leave policy, but I really think the policy might be a little generous, and I also don’t like the fact that it penalizes larger businesses for being, well um, larger. Do people who work in a larger business get sicker more often? Do these folks on the Seattle Council think a larger business could absorb the cost easier? Or do they figure that small business owners in Seattle are more likely to vote on along a liberal line, while a larger business might be more prone to vote conservative?

I also don’t want people coming to work who are sick and I understand the need to take care of children who are also sick. But I do think this is going to have a negative impact on the business climate in Seattle. One thing to keep in mind with this story is that Seattle is one of the most liberal cities in the nation, so it is not surprising these liberals would make it more costly to run a business in Seattle.


A Reader sent a comment that got me to thinking. Read the comment below and then click here for the update.


  1. Every day, the difference between "private" and "public" (be it businesses, vehicles or even your homestead) becomes less and less private. It is a PRIVATE business, and if not receiving any government subsidies or handouts, then business decisions like these should be conducted privately, as in the company should be able to make their own sick policy.

  2. Carolyn, your comment got the brain cells working again. So I thought I would update my post while at the same time, responding to your comment.

    BTW: Nice blog!

  3. Guess that will teach ME to comment on a blog! :)

  4. The Seattle City Council needs to butt out. It is not their business to dictate what or how private business owners compensate their employees. I used to work for a veterinarian. I had no health insurance, not retirement, no paid sick days, no paid vacation, nil, nada, zip but the pay for the time that I worked. Yes, he was generous with Christmas bonuses, but that was his choice. As a business owner, he had to pay for his own days off, his own retirement, his own health insurance and his own vacations. He was not obligated to finance my time off. For years my husband was paid for only the time he worked. Nothing else. He was scheduled every day and he went to work even if he was sick, because if he didn't work, he didn't get paid. If was was truly flat on his back, his employers had to get by, and they did. Paid time off is not a "right."

  5. Rose, good points and I agree that Seattle should not dictate to businesses. But there does have to be some form of protection for the workers. I am in no way a union guy, they are too corrupt and long ago lost sight of what they started out to be; Protection for the worker. And I will fall on my sword to protect anyone, business or individual, that does not want a union. But I do feel that a worker should be able to have a sick day or two without fear of penalty from his/her employer.

    And Speaking of unions, this action by Seattle is a form of unionizing all of the people who work in Seattle. A progressive's dream right there. If they unions can't organize because the workers don't want them, then the progressive city council will force union-like actions on them. Any you want to know why? It is because they are doing it for you because you aren't smart enough to understand all the "wonderful" benefits of being part of a union. as a refresher, here are the wonderful benefits: Corruption, nepotism, physically hurting anyone with whom you disagree (Ken Gladney), and your union due going to support democrat candidates even though you don't support dems.

    OK: I've said enough, this was a post all by itself.

    BTW: Carolyn, Rose, I put your blogs on my "Quirky Blogs list"

  6. Thanks, Rob. I guess I am peculiar to some, LOL!

    I think most business owners don't take advantage of or abuse their workers, and if someone is sick, they shouldn't have to worry about being penalized. But I don't believe that benefit packages should be an automatic "right." They are a "benefit," a useful aid. And if Seattle pushes to require private businesses to financially strap themselves with sick days, and next unions, it will be the death of those businesses. I, as a teacher, personally opted out of our union. Thank goodness I had that option.