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CBIA study finds most CT businesses apprehensive over paid medical and family leave mandate

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Most Connecticut business owners are not looking forward to legislatively mandated paid family and medical leave, according to the CBIA’s 2018 Fourth Quarter Economic and Credit Availability Survey.

The proposed mandate would impact businesses with as few as two employees, with employers being required to provide nonwage benefits for individuals out on leave. Employees would be required to contribute a percentage of their salary through a new payroll tax and would be eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave annually at 100 percent pay, capped at $1,000 per week.

In a poll of its member companies, the CBIA found 63 percent of respondents expect the proposed paid family and medical leave mandate would have a “significant” impact on their operations, while 19 percent felt it would have a “moderate” impact, 8 percent considered the potential impact to be “minor” and 6 percent felt it would have no impact.

Eric Gjede, CBIA vice president of government affairs, argued that a one-size-fits-all mandate would disproportionately target small businesses.

“It comes down to competitiveness,” he said. “That’s the key element driving the viability of any business. The last thing we should be doing is adding to the growing cost of running a business in this state. Connecticut lawmakers must provide businesses the clarity and predictability that being here is the right strategic choice.”

However, most business owners were less apprehensive about another legislative proposal that would increase the minimum wage from $10.10 to $15 per hour over a three-year period. Forty-one percent of survey respondents said this would have no impact on their business, while 24 percent felt it would have a “significant” impact and 18 percent stated the impact would be “moderate.”

Likewise, most respondents were unconcerned over a proposed expansion of the mandatory paid sick leave law, with 41 percent believing it would not impact their operations and 19 percent worrying the impact would be “significant” and 17 percent stating it would be a “moderate” impact.

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