Big business organizations have panned the notion of required sick leave, with the Chamber of Commerce saying that “the problem is not nearly as great as some people say,” and the National Association of Manufacturers warning that the Healthy Families Act “would impose an inflexible government mandate on employers, making it more difficult for manufacturers to preserve and create jobs.

However, lost productivity due to sick workers attending work and infecting others costs the U.S. economy $180 billion annually. For employers, the cost averages $255 per employee per year and “exceeds the cost of absenteeism and medical and disability benefits.” The National Partnership for Women and Families actually found that “while a paid sick days policy would impose modest costs, the estimated business savings total $11.69 per week per worker from lower turnover, improved productivity and reduced spread of illness.”

The Center for Economic and Policy Research has also concluded that “there is no significant relationship between national unemployment rates and legally-mandated access to paid sick days.”

“When businesses take care of their workers, they are better able to retain them, and when workers have the security of paid time off, their commitment, productivity and morale increases, and employers reap the benefits of lower turnover and training costs,” said National Partnership President Debra Ness.

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