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Employee/Employer Relations

Milwaukee Mandated Sick Leave

ACCE Webmaster on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 7:48:33 pm

This month Milwaukee became only the third city in the country to require employers to provide paid sick days for workers.  On Nov. 4 voters in the city passed a mandatory sick leave ballot referendum with a 68% margin.

The ordinance demands that all private employers in the city to provide paid sick days for full-time, part-time and temporary employees. A worker would earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employers with 10 or fewer workers have to provide five paid sick days.

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce (MMAC) plans to issue a legal challenge to the ordinance.  Only San Francisco and Washington, D.C. have approved similar ordinances, and those laws are also being challenged.

See what MMAC president Tim Sheehy has to say about the initiative in a recent BizTimes.com article:

"I've never seen a single issue like this in the city of Milwaukee have such a chilling response on the business climate of the city," said MMAC president Tim Sheehy.  Sheehy said he talked to one business owner that was considering a 40,000-square-foot expansion in the city but was "stopped cold" by the sick leave law. 

"It's having a very negative impact," Sheehy said. "The biggest problem we are having is articulating the unseen impact of this, which is the potential jobs that would have come to the city."

Click HERE to read the full article.

Regular Clearinghouse Blog readers will probably remember that a similar mandatory sick leave initiative nearly made the statewide ballot in Ohio this year.  This is certainly an emerging issue to watch carefully.

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