Bereavement Leave Could Lead to Expansion of Costs
NFIB joined 22 other business groups this month asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to veto a bill that adds bereavement leave to New York’s already expansive paid family leave law. In 2016, NFIB in New York was one of the loudest voices opposing a universal, one-size-fits-all paid leave mandate. When fully implemented, New York’s current law will allow up to 12 weeks paid leave per year. NFIB knows that the paid leave law already creates difficulties for business owners creating work schedules and imposes onerous new administrative and cost burdens on struggling small businesses.
NFIB in New York has also expressed concerns that the current employee payroll deduction funding mechanism is insufficient to support the massive costs of such an entitlement. Now, with the addition of bereavement leave, the New York State Legislature has passed legislation to expand the scope of the program and its costs.
The language in the bill adding bereavement leave to current law appears to have no limits regarding when an employee can take that leave after the death of a family member. We believe certain businesses could become so hampered they won’t be able to produce the goods or services to fill customer needs. The 12-week leave combined with the likelihood that two employees take leave time on the same days could prove disastrous for smaller employers. At worst, there may be situations where the business cannot function and is forced to reduce operations or even close.
Not enough research has been done on the economic impact that this legislation could have on small businesses, their employees, and on the state’s economy. NFIB strongly urges Gov. Cuomo to veto the bill.
New York’s NFIB State Director, Greg Biryla, was recently quoted in the Albany Business Review on legislature’s expansion of paid leave, “We are not denying that including bereavement is a well-intended approach, but we think it’s far too early to be expanding this program when there are far too many financial questions about it,” said Biryla, whose organization represents about 10,000 small businesses around New York.”