Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Tim Garrett provided insight on employer sick leave policies in an article for the Associated Press. With a growing number of state and local laws requiring mandated sick leave, small business owners can be hit especially hard in attempts to comply, given the administrative costs of complying as well as paying substitutes for shift work.

While there is not a mandatory, federal paid sick leave, the issue has been raised in Congress, but a law in the near future is unlikely. According to the Associated Press article, “Lawmakers split along party lines over how to pay for the time off. Democrats favor a law that would be funded through tax increases on employers and workers. Republicans want workers to effectively pay for sick leave by delaying eligibility for Social Security based on how much sick time they’ve taken.” Additionally, there is a GOP-sponsored bill that would permit companies to be exempt from state and local sick leave laws as long as workers are offered flexible scheduling.

While the trend toward paid sick leave is growing, some business owners are not on board with a government mandated requirement. “They don’t appreciate the government telling them what to do,” Tim says. “They say, ‘I want to do this because it’s what’s best for my business.'”

The full article, “Paid Sick Leave May be Incentive, Complication at Businesses,” was published by the Associated Press on August 1, 2018, and is available online.