House bill forces businesses to pay for sick leave

By WND Staff

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Bills have been introduced in the House (HR 4575) and the Senate (S 2520) requiring a business that employs 15 or more to offer a minimum of 7 sick days per year.

As defined in the bills, ”sick days” can be used for an employee’s illness, or for an employee to attend to the medical needs of a child, spouse or parent. Part-time employees would receive fewer days, pro-rated according to the length of time worked.

Sponsors of the bill are trying to sell the idea to business. Congressman Grijalva (D-AZ) said, “Those who arrive at their jobs ill are likely to infect co-workers and be less productive then if they had taken time off to get well.” Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) is pointing to a study by Cornell University, saying that by granting paid sick leave would save businesses $180 billion annually. However, businesses don’t need Grijalva or Kennedy or any other congressman to micro-manage our businesses.

I agree on the value of offering a sick-day policy to employees, but it must be arranged and agreed upon by employer and staff. A business needs the flexibility to establish a policy that fits their particular needs. If the government can mandate 7 days a year, who not 12 or 15? In other words, why stop at 7?

Additionally, the bill creates a certificate that must be used in granting time off, and says these certificates must be filed separately from regular personnel files. Clearly, this is micromanagement to a ridiculous degree, to tell a business exactly what forms must be used in granting sick time, and how those forms must be stored at work.

Jesus taught, “the worker is worthy of his support” (Matthew 10:10). Employers are wise to offer reasonable sick-day benefits to employees, but forced, mandated, legislated benefits only interfere with the free marketplace. Business should run business, not congressmen or bureaucrats.


Steve Marr is the former CEO of the fourth largest import-export firm in the U.S., a company which facilitated international trade for many of the largest companies in America. Currently, Steve consults with with businesses and ministries utilizing ancient Biblical principles for success in today’s marketplace. Click here to contact Steve, or visit his website at www.businessproverbs.com.