The business-backed Partnership for New York City released a survey that shows the paid sick leave bill being proposed by the City Council will be expensive, costing businesses $789 million. It also suggests that many businesses (88%) already offer paid sick days—versus other claims that nearly half of businesses do not have paid sick days—thereby making the bill, in its current form, unnecessary.
The bill proposes nine paid sick days a year for businesses with 20 or more employees while businesses with 19 or fewer would have to offer five days. Businesses have been arguing against the bill for a while, claiming that it will drive them out of NYC. Some points from the the Ernst & Young-conducted survey, via the Wall Street Journal:
- Of the $789 million in increased annual payroll costs, 60% will fall on employers who already offer paid leave (but in terms that are different from the legislation).
- The largest burden would fall on employers with hourly workers or those who make tips, and on smaller businesses. For small businesses, payroll costs would rise 0.31%; for retail, 0.4%; for hospitality and restaurants, 0.71%; for construction, 1.28%.
- Large businesses would see an increase of 57 cents per employee per hour and small businesses 24 cents.
You can read the study here (PDF). The Partnership's president Kathryn Wylde said, "The results of our survey show that this legislation triggers a boatload of unintended consequences that would be toughest on small businesses and nonprofits, the beleaguered construction industry, and could threaten the jobs of the most vulnerable employees who are its supposed beneficiaries."
One of the bill's supporters told City Hall News that the survey's methodology was flawed, noting that the online survey was reached via local chambers of commerce websites as well as the website of Crain's New York Business, "The people most likely to fill out the survey were people that already had strong opinions on the issue."