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The Massachusetts Senate is prepared to take up a bill that would give every Massachusetts worker paid family and medical leave.
“We are hearing that businesses need some policies that will really help attract and retain the most talented workers to Massachusetts and reduce employee turnover, and we all know that our people are our greatest natural resource in Massachusetts,” said State Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and the bill’s sponsor. “Paid family leave will help us remain competitive and ensure that our workers want to stay here.”
Stop right there. Senator Karen Spilka was the one who led the charge AGAINST bulletproof vests for police officers. She was one of the 20 Senators who voted against a mere $300,000 to ensure officer safety. This was her reasoning:
“Sen. Spilka said, There is flexibility in the grant program that is doesn’t have to be used for vests, and can be used by communities to meet their needs.”
In other words, she didn’t want to pay for bulletproof vests so that she could have extra cash to throw around at bills like this. Ya know, “community needs.”
She is right though on one thing – this will definitely make our workers want to stay here. The problem is that there won’t be any work, because business owners won’t be sticking around. They’ll be moving, going out of business, or laying off workers. And entrepreneurs will be more likely to say, “fuck it,” because why would anyone want to waste their time opening up a business in a state that seems hellbent on destroying businesses? Turtleboy is a growing business, but if you think we can afford to pay someone for 16 weeks of doing nothing then you’re living in fantasy land. If we’re thinking like this, then lots of other small businesses are as well, which means jobs don’t get created. It’s really simple.
The Senate is scheduled to take up H.4351this Saturday. The bill, a major policy change that has strong opposition from the business community, is unlikely to make it past the House in the final week of the legislative session. But it will give senators a chance to show their support for paid family leave as they head back to their districts to face reelection campaigns.
“It’s important to all of the woman across the commonwealth and all the families, including the men,” Spilka said.
Wait…..what?? This bill can’t make it out of the House, which means it will never become law. But this State Senator is pushing for it anyway because then she can campaign on a platform of “I tried to give you free stuff but they wouldn’t let me.” This is why people hate politicians.
The bill would grant a maximum of 16 weeks of family care leave, which can be used for an illness or to care for a family member, and 26 weeks of temporary disability leave in a year to any employee who has worked the equivalent of at least 31 40-hour weeks. An employee who takes leave would be allowed to return to the same or a substantially similar job. The leave would not affect an employee’s right to accrued vacation or sick time, seniority, bonuses or other benefits. An employer would not be allowed to require an employee to use up paid vacation or sick time before taking leave.
The first week would be unpaid, and after that the worker would be paid part of their regular salary. The amount would be set at 50 percent in 2018 and would increase up to 90 percent in 2020, with a maximum benefit of $1,000 a week.
This might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s like they WANT businesses to fail. So let me get this straight. Businesses already pay their employees for sick and vacation time. Time in which they do not work. These sick days can be used to take time off to care for a sick family member, or other unforeseen situations. But now employees get another 16 weeks, on the house, so they don’t have to dip into their other paid days off?
It’s so great to live in a world where everything is free!!! I can’t believe it took politicians this long to figure it out!! They could’ve just fixed everything by making sure people get paid to miss work. The solution was right there in front of us the whole time and we were too blind to see it.
And who will pay for it?
“The benefits would be paid for by a fund that employers will have to pay into, although companies can require employees to pay up to half their portion of the contribution.”
In other words – small business owners are going to be given a brand bill that they didn’t have before. If the company isn’t made of money, then they can force their employees to pay into this “get paid not to work” fund. What’s it called when you withhold income from your employees because it’s going to a state mandated fund? Oh yea, a tax. They just raised taxes without mentioning that dirty word that no one likes to hear.
Oh yea, and it creates more jobs………at the Statehouse:
“The bill would establish an office in state government to oversee the administration of the benefits. The start-up operating costs and information technology are expected to cost $12 million, according to a fiscal note attached to the bill. That does not account for the cost of paying benefits for public employees.”
Translation – Senator Spilka’s family and friends are about to get new jobs that didn’t exist before, overseeing the new tax money that we’re forcing business owners and employees to pay. And Senator Jamie Eldridge will be there to cut the ribbon when the office opens up.
Look, it’s really simple – employers have to offer benefit packages to workers because qualified people with degrees don’t want to work in a sweatshop. They won’t. They’ll go somewhere else to a company that offers them better pay and benefits. Because that’s how a free market works. I understand that a market can’t be completely laissez-faire, and a certain amount of legislation to protect workers is certainly fair. But 16 weeks of paid time off for dudes because their wife gave birth? Suck it up and get back to work buttercup.
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