What's the Real Story?

The CSS roundtable, held on April 20, 2012 at the Princeton Club in New York City, brought together leading economists who have looked at the impact of minimum wage increases and paid sick days on employment, the director of labor standards enforcement from San Francisco, which has had a similar measure in effect since 2007, labor leaders, policy-makers, small business owners—on both sides of the issue—and representatives of corporate interests and the chambers of commerce.

The weight of the empirical evidence from solid, independent research and the actual experience of San Francisco make it clear that paid sick days would not be detrimental to employment.  That is because the cost of paid sick days is small, relative to things even like recent minimum wage increases, and because ultimately the cost is borne not just by employers, but absorbed through operating changes and passed along to customers and employees. Moreover, a paid sick days law creates a level playing field so that firms with decent labor practices are not undercut by those who would take advantage of workers.

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Watch: Highlights From the Roundtable

1. Small business perspective: cafe owner Freddy Castiblanco, small business owner from Queens, talks about why he supports paid sick days.

2. What's in the bill: Ellen Bravo of Family Values at Work, Kathryn Wylde of Partnership for New York City, and Sherry Leiwant of A Better Balance discuss the real provisions of the Paid Sick Time Act, the bill that's currently before the New York City Council.

3. The San Francisco experience: Donna Levitt, San Francisco Office of Labor Standards, on how a paid sick days law has affected the San Francisco business community. 

4. The public policy case: from MIT economist Paul Osterman.

5. Debunking the "job-killer" myth: Nancy Rankin, Community Service Society sums up the overwhelming research in support of paid sick days.

6. The opposition: Kathryn Wylde, Partnership for New York City, on why some business interests oppose a paid sick days law in New York City.

Watch the Full Highlights:

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