HR Policy Association strongly opposes legislative mandates to provide paid leave, such as the Healthy Families Act, which would require employers to provide seven days of paid sick leave to employees. Most large employers provide paid sick leave to the vast majority of their employees and employers who are able to provide this benefit do not need a government requirement to ensure that they do. Providing paid leave is not only a critical component of recruiting and retaining the most qualified and talented workforce, but it also helps ensure a healthy and productive workplace. The Association is concerned that any new federal requirement that employers provide paid sick leave will be disruptive to those employer-provided benefits that are already in place. A “one size fits all” approach may not be flexible enough to accommodate the myriad of programs that employers offer. In addition to disrupting existing programs, the additional costs imposed on businesses by newly mandated benefits could exacerbate a struggling economy.
HR Policy believes that workplace policies that provide the flexibility to employees to enable them to balance work and family needs are essential to recruiting and retaining a qualified, talented and highly-motivated workforce. These policies must also accommodate the needs of the business to remain competitive as well as the needs of all employees whose own workload may be unduly burdened by excessive absenteeism by co-employees. In the majority of instances, compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is not a problem for employers where leave is taken for the purposes the law was intended to protect. Unfortunately, because of overly broad provisions in the law and many of the counterproductive regulations promulgated under it, there is significant abuse of those protections, resulting in excessive absenteeism that burdens both the business and the employees who work there. The Association strongly supports any revision of the FMLA that assists employers in complying with its terms while ensuring that the leave taken under the FMLA is for legitimate purposes as the Act was intended. Any further expansion of the Act’s coverage that fails to address those needs would be harmful to both businesses and employees.