Big government “progressives” love telling other people what to do (and spending other people’s money). It’s all about control, as a central tenet of progressivism is a strong central state controlling what should be free, voluntary associations between citizens.
The latest example of this desired control is HB 270, the Healthy Families & Workplaces Act. Sponsored by Reps. Susan Fisher (D-Buncombe), Jean Farmer-Butterfield (D-Wilson), Larry Hall (D-Durham), and Paul Luebke (D-Durham), this bill would legally mandate a minimum number of paid sick days employers must offer its workers. (There is an equivalent Senate bill, SB 339)
The bill also goes on to specify guidelines for the “discretionary advancement of sick time by the employer,” limits on the amount of accrued sick time, and policies for the use of sick time at the time of separation with the employer.
But the amount of paid sick time employers offer their workers is none of the government’s business. Mutually agreed upon terms of employment should not be criminalized. It is unacceptable in a free society for the political class to inject threats of punishment into a peaceful, voluntary work arrangement simply because it doesn’t live up to some arbitrarily chosen standards dreamt up by meddling politicians.
Moreover, the bill’s mandatory paid sick time imposes an additional cost on businesses not able to offer such a benefit, making it more difficult for them to create jobs. Or employers may cut costs in other areas, like salary, health benefits or working conditions, to make up for the additional imposed costs of the paid sick days.
Such mandates also limit the scope in which employers can compete for workers in the job market. It takes away a bargaining advantage – namely paid sick days – some employers may use to compete for the best workers by making it mandatory for everyone.
NC progressive politicians already want to dictate wage floors and force employers to provide an arbitrary amount of leave for “caregiver responsibilities” in addition to the already existing mountain of regulations and mandates on employers; mandating a minimum amount of paid sick days lengthens the list of their desires to control the relationships between employer and worker.
People should be free to voluntarily enter into work agreements based upon terms they mutually agree upon. Government has no place in dictating some of those terms and threatening punishment against those that don’t live up to the state’s arbitrarily chosen mandates. Because of these reasons, HB 270 is this week’s Bad Bill of the Week.