This week, The Seattle Times ran an op-ed by Michael Saltsman of the Employment Policies Institute (EPI), an industry-funded ‘research’ organization, claiming Seattle’s Paid Sick Days law is negatively impacting local businesses and driving up costs.
Here’s the funny thing about EPI’s report: it’s basically an opinion survey of a very small sample. EPI surveyed 300 selected business owners (mostly restaurants), asking them if they thought Seattle’s sick days law would increase costs. But EPI didn’t ask for any math to back up those opinions.
They also didn’t bother to ask any employees or customers what they thought.
Of course, when a Seattle restaurant owner like Tom Douglas announces he will raise his employees’ wages to $15 an hour after realizing the sick-leave law costs much less than expected, maybe EPI knew opinions would play better to their case than actual, you know, data.
Reporter David Goldstein, writing for The Stranger, decisively called out the real motives behind EPI ‘s ‘report’:
Although the Seattle Times describes EPI as a “nonprofit research organization,” it’s really anything but. In fact, EPI is nothing more than just one of about two dozen front groups created by DC-based corporate lobbyist Richard Berman, a Beltway-insider notorious for his take-no-prisoners tactics, and his all-out assaults on such enemies of freedom as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Humane Society.
In 2014, we will be working with the Legislature to pass statewide standards for paid sick days and family and medical leave insurance. To be successful, we need to get the real story out about why paid leave matters for everyone’s health and well-being. Here are a two ways you can help:
- Take a few minutes to send a letter to the editor to your local paper about why you support paid sick days and family and medical leave insurance.
- Tell us how access or lack-of-access to paid leave has affected your family or business so we can share people’s real experiences.
This September marks the one-year anniversary of paid sick days in Seattle, but millions of Washington workers still have no access to paid leave. In 2014, we can make our state healthier and safer by assuring that all working people have access to the paid leave they need to stay healthy and care for their families.
Let’s get to work.