Pennsylvania governor-elect Tom Wolf won’t take office for another two months, but one part of his Fresh Start policy plan already has business types feeling queasy.
Wolf wants to implement a new sick leave policy mirrored after a two-year-old law in Connecticut, saying employees shouldn’t have to choose work over staying at home to care for a sick family member.
“Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania workers do not have paid sick time,” said Jeffrey Sheridan, Wolf’s press secretary. “It affects productivity and it negatively impacts the economic growth.”
But critics of such a policy in Pennsylvania believe the state government needs to stay out of the employer-employee relationship, at the risk of businesses hiring fewer people or passing increased costs to consumers.
“These are the problems we get into when government attempts to make those kinds of dictates,” said Gene Barr, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.
Wolf’s proposal is unpopular among many others in the business community, according to the conservative Lincoln Institute’s Fall 2014 Keystone Business Climate Survey. That poll found more than 75 percent of business people opposed a paid sick leave mandate for all businesses.