On July 20, 2012, Caroline Winter published an article in Bloomberg Businessweek titled “Is Paid Sick Leave Good for Business” stating there is a group of women seeking a bill that would require companies to pay sick leave. This group is being led by feminist author Gloria Steinem. Cities such as San Francisco, Washing D. C. , and Connecticut have implemented paid sick leave as a city ordinance but New York’s City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn has previously voted against and continues to oppose this request.
Although it is a good policy, because she believes passing this bill that requires companies to pay sick leave will cause undue hardship especially in today’s volatile economy (Winter, 2012). Surveys, such as the 2011 Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), have been initiated to analyze how paid sick leave in San Francisco impacts the employer and the results have been positive.
Out of 727 employers and 1,194 incumbents, six out of seven employers showed no signs of negative impact in employee misuse of sick leave, company profitability, or policy implementation (Winter, 2012). There have been other surveys, such as the 2010 Partnership for New York City, that studied paid sick leave and contradictory to the IWPR survey reported large economical hardship for companies that opt to follow the paid sick leave policy.
The discrepancies between the two surveyors are due in part to the population of workers included in the survey, such as independent contractors who are not covered by this policy. Relevancy to HR This article is relevant to HR and current health care issues because it helps attract and retain employees as well as controls rising health costs. Supporters of paid sick leave suggest this benefit will significantly help low-income, minority, and women employees and is simply “good public policy” (Winter, 2012).
As an HR professional, it makes perfect sense that implementing this policy would put employees at ease knowing they can stay home to care for themselves or stay home with their sick children for a faster recovery. Paying employees to stay home when sick will also reduce spreading viruses around thus reducing other employees from getting sick and reduce overall medical expenses. Paying for sick leave is an attractive benefit when managed carefully by both employer and employee. It is a win-win situation for all.