Connecticut Businesses Seeing Many Benefits And Few Costs From Paid Sick Days Law


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Two years after it took effect, few of Connecticut’s businesses had significant costs when complying with the state’s paid sick days law and many have seen benefits, a new survey from Eileen Appelbaum and Ruth Milkman has found.
The two researchers surveyed 251 employers in the state and conducted 15 site visits or interviews with business managers. Only 10 percent reported an increase in their payroll costs by 3 percent or more. A large majority, on the other hand, said it didn’t affect their business operations and they had either a small or nonexistent increase in cost. To deal with any costs, about 10 percent said they reduced employees’ hours and just over 15 percent increased their prices. Less than 4 percent reduced their operating hours, less than 2 percent reduced their quality of service, and only 1 percent reduced wages.
In order to cover those who took paid time off for their own illness or to care for a sick family member, nearly two-thirds just assigned the work to other employees and another 13 percent allowed workers to swap shifts with each other, neither of which incur extra costs. Just over 11 percent decided to hire temporary replacement workers or put work on hold.
Meanwhile, the law now enjoys strong employer support, with more than three-quarters saying they are either very supportive or somewhat supportive, with most in the former camp. Employers also reported a variety of benefits from the law. Nearly 15 percent saw productivity increase, while about 30 percent saw improved morale and 12.5 percent experienced increased motivation. More than 10 percent said they saw more loyalty and 3.3 percent had a reduction in turnover. The health benefit was clear as well, as nearly 20 percent had fewer sick employees show up to work and about 15 percent reduced the spread of illnesses.
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