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Mandatory paid sick leave won't help workers

Mandatory paid sick leave isn't the cure-all that op-ed writer Paul Kinzie makes it out to be. ("Paid sick leave for food workers makes us all healthier," August 7). There's a growing body of evidence that shows that these laws actually hurt the employees they're intended to help.

For instance, a study by the Institute for Women's Policy Research — a group supportive of paid sick leave laws — found that nearly 30 percent of San Francisco's lowest-wage employees reported layoffs or reduced hours at their place of work following that city's passage of a paid leave mandate. Another survey by the Urban Institute found that some city employers had scaled back on employee bonuses, vacation time and part-time help to adapt to the law's costs, while studies in Connecticut and Seattle have also found that some employees have even lost their hours of work or their jobs following the passage of mandatory paid leave laws.

Hopefully these facts will serve as a helpful reminder that when it comes to business mandates, good intentions don't necessarily lead to good policy.

Michael Saltsman

The writer is research director of the Employment Policies Institute.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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