Mandatory Paid Leave Bill Passes House General Committee (6-1 vote)

Date: March 05, 2014

Eliminates Employee Flexibility

Just before Town Meeting week break the,
House General,
House and Military Affairs Committee
 
voted 6-1 in favor of H.208; legislation that would mandate an employer to
allow an employee to accrue leave of up to 56 hours and would be rolled over
each year.  It also mandates a
probationary period for all new hires of 60 calendar days (or 240 work hours
whichever is later) before an employee can start using accrued time; which
would still start accruing a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked.  The bill attempts to acknowledge the
complications of hiring “seasonal employees”; by setting forth that these
employees will not be allowed to use their accrued paid leave until the second
year of employment. The bill exempts employers with fewer than four (4)
employees. 

 

H.208 has been referred to the House
Appropriations Committee
(per House Rule 35(a) – meaning House leadership
has determined that the bill should be “treated as a bill affecting the revenue of the state or materially
affecting the revenues of one or more municipalities”
.  It is
unclear when the bill will be scheduled for further consideration.

 

NFIB/VT needs your help to stop this
legislation!  You and your employees need
to contact their legislator(s), members of the
House
Appropriations Committee
and Speaker Shap Smith
ask them to oppose H.208.

 

Please take the time now to relay some
of the following Talking Points and explain how a paid leave mandate would
affect your business.  Lawmakers need to
hear the concerns of small business!

 


  • As
    a small business owner, I am asking that you OPPOSE House Bill 208, mandating
    paid time off in Vermont.

  • Guaranteeing
    workers paid time off is a broad-based tax on employers.  The more employees I have, the more I
    pay.  This will have a significant
    impact on my total payroll costs and hiring decisions.

  • Now,
    during this time of economic uncertainty, is a bad time for mandating a
    minimum number of paid sick days. The economic cost will
    disproportionately impact small businesses – the same small businesses
    that have been struggling to survive and avoid layoffs.  When someone loses his or her job,
    because a business is trying to control costs, the result is the
    equivalent of UNPAID time off.

  • The
    expense of this mandate will strain my small business.  It will impede my ability to grow my business
    and add jobs in this high-cost state’s increasingly anti-business
    climate.  My business has no more to
    give!


  • Some
    of the costs of guaranteed paid time off will be passed on to my workers,
    who will have to cover the work load for absent employees.  The ‘one size fits all’ mandate reduces
    my flexibility and the financial resources available to offer voluntary
    benefits that workers want, such as retirement, vacation, and health
    insurance.

  • Imposing
    a mandated probationary period of 60 days on new hires is just one more
    attempt to appease me in this inappropriate attempt by government to
    regulate my business. 

  • By
    requiring that all full and part-time (seasonal) employees begin accruing
    paid time off on their first day of work means my small business will
    incur unnecessary costs to hiring and training new employees that might
    not work out.  Both the employee and
    the employer should be allowed to be sure the employment situation is a
    good fit for both parties.


  • The
    tourism, hospitality, and retail industries and other seasonal businesses
    that rely on part-time employment will be impacted the hardest. This bill
    does not provide for an arrangement that will accommodate their needs
    despite the legislators attempt to include a provision that allows that
    these employees will not
    be allowed to use their accrued paid leave until the second year of employment.

  • Some
    legislators have incorrectly assumed that I am not working with my
    employees to let them take the time off they need to balance their career
    and family.  This is not true!

  • Paid
    leave legislation will have a negative impact on all responsible small
    business owners and their workers. Vermont’s businesses cannot afford to
    lose jobs. Please support small business by OPPOSING House Bill 208.

 

Call
the State House at 802-828-2228 to leave a message that will be hand-delivered
or you may contact them directly.
Fax a letter to
802-223-9162 and it will be hand-delivered on your behalf.  Contact your member of the House of Representatives, members of the Senate.  You find out
who your legislator is here.

 

Contact Members of the House
Appropriations Committee

 

Rep. Martha Heath of
Westford, Chair                   mpheathvt@gmail.com               
(802)
893-1291

Rep, Mitzi Johnson of South
Hero, Vice Chair        mjohnson@leg.state.vt.us         
(802)
363-4448

Rep. Bob Helm of Fair
Haven, Ranking Member                 rhelm@leg.state.vt.us                  
(802) 265-2145

Rep. Peter Fagan of Rutland
City                                               pfagan@leg.state.vt.us
(802)
342-1214

Rep. Kathy Keenan of St.
Albans City                      kkeenan@leg.state.vt.us            
(802)
524-5013

Rep. Ann Manwaring of
Wilmington                        amanwaring@leg.state.vt.us     
(802) 464-2150

Rep. Alice Miller of
Shaftsbury                                   amiller@leg.state.vt.us
(802)
442-9825

Rep. Anne O’Brien of
Richmond                                                aobrien@leg.state.vt.us              
(802)
434-4250

Rep. Chuck Pearce of
Richford                                   apearce@leg.state.vt.us             
(802)
848-7813

Rep. Kitty Toll of
Danville, Clerk                                 ktoll@leg.state.vt.us                     
(802) 684-3671

Rep. Phil Winters of
Williamstown                                                                                                          (802)
433-5590

 

Click here to find your legislators
email address
, or write a letter and fax it to 802-223-9162 so we can hand
deliver it for you. Also, take a moment and contact
Speaker Shap Smith at 802-828-2245 or
at
speaker@leg.state.vt.us.  And Senate President Pro-Tempore John
Campbell at senprespt@leg.state.vt.us
or 802-828-3806, as well as Governor Peter Shumlin at governorvt@state.vt.us
or at 800-649-6825.

 

If you
have questions contact Shawn Shouldice at
Shawn.Shouldice@NFIB.org or
802-498-0059

Mandated Wages

The House
General, House and Military Affairs Committee
held a hearing on legislation
that would raise the minimum wage to
$12.50 an hour from $8.73. Vermont has the third highest minimum wage rate in
the country, and the highest in New England. To address the current gap between
existing incomes and the targeted livable income of $12.50 an hour.  The state’s economist, Tom Kavet presented preliminary findings to the Committee that outlined the
need for a range of coordinated policy actions associated with taxes, public
benefits, Federal initiatives, education, job training and health care.

 

The current national minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. President Obama is advocating for a minimum wage of $10.10
for all federal contractors, and has called on governors to consider wage
changes at the state level. Governor Shumlin and other legislative leaders
suggest that the passage of a minimum wage increase in Vermont is
possible.  Therefore your voice is
needed. 

 

Click here to find your legislators
email address
, or write a letter and fax it to 802-223-9162 so we can hand
deliver it for you. Also, take a moment and contact
Speaker Shap Smith at 802-828-2245 or
at
speaker@leg.state.vt.us.  And Senate President Pro-Tempore John
Campbell at senprespt@leg.state.vt.us
or 802-828-3806, as well as Governor Peter Shumlin at governorvt@state.vt.us
or at 800-649-6825.

 

If you
have questions contact Shawn Shouldice at
Shawn.Shouldice@NFIB.org or
802-498-0059

 

Related Content: Small Business News | Vermont

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