Left out the Best Part

Times Argus Opinion: Michelle Fay of St. Johnsbury

May 01,2015

Left out the best part

In his commentary on paid sick days, Rep. Don Turner cited findings from the Joint Fiscal Office’s analysis of the impact of establishing a minimum standard of paid sick days for working Vermonters. Unfortunately Rep. Turner seems to have missed the end of the memo, which summarized that the “benefits of the legislation are ‘likely to be of comparable magnitude to the employer costs.’” These benefits come in the form of improved employee productivity, reduced turnover and health care savings. 

Rep. Turner also suggested that a minimum standard of paid sick time would prevent employers from providing a more flexible benefits package. Minimum standards are not caps or limits, they are floors designed to prevent abuse and exploitation. Beyond this, employers are free to customize their benefits to attract top-notch staff. 

The need for time off to take care of yourself or a sick family member is universal. Thank goodness the majority of House members recognized this and voted to strengthen the economy and working families.