Mandatory Paid Sick Time

Company paid sick leave is already government mandated in four places in the country. San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C., and Connecticut all have some paid sick time requirements, and now New York City is fighting for it too.

Whether or not the government should require businesses to foot the bill for sick days is a heated debate in the area just ravaged by hurricane Sandy. Employers say they can’t afford any more financial burdens. Employees say they can’t afford to miss any more work. And with the flu season being particularly brutal this year, employees face a very real threat of missing work. If they get the flu, they’ve got to stay home. If they stay home, they don’t get paid.

But the benefits of paying sick time are not all just in the employee’s favor. Offering employees paid sick time keeps them from coming into work with an infectious disease. This is good for the business because productivity will take a serious dip if an outbreak spreads through the workplace.

Obviously, keeping the workplace safe for other employees is important but should the government mandate it? After all, not all small companies can afford it.

It is a tough decision. We all want our workplaces clean and our employees healthy but neither the employer nor the employee wants to lose money to make it happen.

If your business already pays sick time or, if New York City passes the bill, you’ll want to be sure to keep accurate track of the sick time. By law, so many days will be afforded based on hours worked. An online system like can be set to accrue time off based on the number of hours worked (or just by year). This keeps the business in compliance and employees aware of their limits.

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