Employment Policy Group Urges California Legislators to Consider Unintended Consequences of Mandated Leave

Mandating Benefits Such As Paid Leave Will Hurt California Employees
  • Publication Date: April 2011

  • Topics: Health Care

Today, the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) urged California legislators to consider the unintended consequences of mandating paid leave.

Legislation – (AB 400) – sponsored by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D- San Francisco) being considered tomorrow at 1:30pm in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee, would require California businesses to provide paid sick leave to their employees. Despite the claims of advocates, mandates like this could have unintended consequences for Californians including reduced hours, cuts in benefits, and fewer job opportunities.

“Many impacted employers have low profit margins, so for each dollar in revenue, only a few cents are made in profit–meaning there’s not a lot of leeway for added labor costs,” said Saltsman. “This is especially true among employees already earning the minimum, and could cause job loss among this vulnerable group.”

Proponents of the legislation tout dramatic benefits to employees and the public from this “free lunch,” but their own research disproves the claim.

“According to a survey conducted in San Francisco by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research [proponents of the legislation], close to 30 percent of employees in the bottom fifth of earners reported layoffs or reduced hours at their place of work after passage of the paid sick leave mandate,” Saltsman continued: “Their research also reveals this shocking statistic: Eight out of ten employers in San Francisco said the paid sick leave ordinance had no effect on the number of employees who came to work sick.”

Saltsman concluded, “According to an analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 80 percent of private sector employees in California already have access to some sort of paid leave. The remaining employees don’t have it because their employer likely can’t afford it. There will surely be unintended consequences for California if a leave policy is mandated.”