CBIA Is At It Again

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I have been absent from this blog for Casper & de Toledo for an extended period of time now. I have been recovering from my own injury and surgery and I will Blog at a later time about how I know I can really feel my clients’ pain. As a trial lawyer, we read and study about injuries and learning the medicine is quite helpful. But nothing compares to walking in someone else’s shoes.

In any case, today I include an email message that I am sending to the entire Connecticut state legislature. This morning I opened “The Advocate” and read how there is contention in Hartford in the waning days of the legislative seesion about a mandate for paid sick leave of 6.5 days a year. Naturally, the Connecicut Business and Industry Association (“CBIA”) (not to be confused with www.c-b-i-a.com or Connecticut Brain Injury Attorneys) is out lobbying for a bill that makes no difference to the major corporations that set policy for the CBIA. When will these out of touch executives from the insurance companies and large corporations learn that by protecting workers, particularly people with small paychecks who can’t afford to miss a day’s pay, we actually elevate the level of compasion and humnity in our society. My email to the Legislators follows:

I am writing to each member of the legislature in favor of mandating paid sick leave of 6.5 days for employees. I also write as a long standing member of the CBIA. I believe that the Connecticut Business and Industry Association is misguided, ill-informed, provides unreliable information to the legislature and is organizationally incapable of analyzing public policy issues beyond the visceral reaction that this will cost our members some money. Not once in my recollection has the CBIA taken any stand on any issue that would benefit employees and fails to recognize that an employee who does not feel penalized by illness is a happier and more productive employee.

I have a total of 11 employees. Our standing benefit policy provides 5 paid sick days, 2 personal days (funerals, sick, appointments etc) and 3 weeks of vacation that rises with longevity. We also are flexible under special circumstances permitting employees to make up hours and to work remotely under specified conditions.

If an employee is sick with something that is contagious whether it is viral or bacterial, I don’t want that employee in the office exposing others to illness. A sick employee also is under productive, inefficient and brings an attitude that can become contagious within the office.

CBIA has taken a position but it has not canvassed its members on this issue. It is another CBIA knee jerk reaction that the proposal is a mandate that will cost small employers (most large to middle size employers already provide such benefits). The irony is that CBIA weighs in opposition to any proposal that will cost an employer any money but usually only does the bidding for its large members who control the CBIA Board. Let the CBIA offer some real evidence or analysis that this proposal would be harmful to the economy of Connecticut. Today I have blogged further on this subject. Good luck and hoping your final days of the session will be productive.

By Stewart Casper. Posted May 31, 2007

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