Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed a bill on Friday that blocks local governments from implementing paid sick leave legislation, the Orlando Sentinel reports. He made his decision quickly, only taking four of the 15 days he legally had to review the bill before he signed it.
In signing the bill, Scott sided with big business interests including Disney World, Darden Restaurants (owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster), and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. The bill is part of a national effort to pass so-called “preemption bills” that would block paid sick leave legislation that is backed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-wing group that coordinates conservative laws across states. The state’s House Majority Leader, Steve Precourt (R), who was instrumental in putting forward the preemption bill, is an active ALEC member.
I haven’t eaten at a Red Lobster in years, but their commercials for that lobster pot pie have been making me drool. This cut that craving right out. Looking up recipes and making my own now, thanks.
Big business stood in opposition to the Orange County effort on paid sick leave because it claimed such a bill would drive up costs. Yet a study of San Francisco, which enacted a paid sick leave policy in 2007, showed that a majority of businesses saw either no impact or a positive one on profitability. Other research has shown such policies to be good for business and job growth.
I’ve worked jobs where there was no sick leave. Where if you got sick, that was it, sucker. You either came to work and threw up on your lunch break (which was GREAT when I worked in a restaurant, like, do you WANT me to give all the customers strep?) or you found yourself a new job.
I’ve worked in a lot of offices where even when there was sick time, there was this macho bullshit and being sick was for pussies. Which had the entirely predictable result that instead of one person getting strep and staying home two days, the whole office got strep from being jammed into desks next to one another with no way out, and then the parents in the room gave strep to their kids and had no choice but to stay home. And they were then derided for taking time off, like, just shove some cold medicine in your kid’s face and get in here.
Some of that’s working in male-dominated aggro industries and being too dumb to understand the difference between being at work and doing work. I gotta tell you, now, having had a couple of bosses who recognized that it was easier to give me a couple of sick days than it was to can me, I work twice as hard knowing I’m not going to be penalized if I physically can’t work for a little while.
And that’s pretty much common sense, right? It’s cheaper to keep the employee you already spent X weeks/months/years training, the person who knows where all the bodies are buried and how to do everything, than it is to keep hiring monkeys and firing them and hiring them again? It seems simple enough, but lazy management being what it is, all you have to do is say to somebody “but but but higher costs” and suddenly common sense things become “anti-business” regardless of whether that impression is based anywhere within a long bridge to reality.