Home By Doug Rainey Small business sees flaws in paid family leave bill

Small business sees flaws in paid family leave bill

Small business sees flaws  in  paid family leave bill

Good afternoon,

Monday’s column on paid family leave led to a few comments – all critical of the state Senate bill as applies to small businesses.

The need for efforts that deal with family matters and an aging population is obvious. As the cliche goes, the devil is in the details.


In addition to more than 65 state jobs needed in dealing with requests from the program, there is the question of the “one size fits all” approach.

The burden would seem to fall the heaviest on small businesses that rely on skilled workers – machine shops and smaller heating and air conditioning service companies are a couple of examples that come to mind.

“I’m all for making sure my team members are well compensated and cared for. However, there are limits to everything. Most SMB owners do the same. SB 1 just takes it beyond limits that are attainable for most,” one reader noted.

One unintended consequence would be the temptation to add more  “1099” gig workers getting no benefits in situations where jobs can be done off-site.

A bigger issue, mentioned previously,  is the lack of research that goes beyond the fiscal impact to state taxpayers and should extend to employers.

A carve-out provision in the bill for the smallest employers is one possibility.

Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the way the General Assembly rolls these days, as the number of current or previous business owners in Dover dwindles.

When it came to last year’s path to the $15 an hour minimum wage, Delaware legislators went further than their counterparts in California.

Despite taking the lead on issues, such as the minimum wage, legislators on the left coast state carved out a minimum wage that is a dollar an hour lower for companies with  26 or fewer employees.

Additionally, California’s family leave bill is limited to eight weeks and applies to companies with 20 or more employees. It’s hard to believe that the authors of the bill want to take things a step further.

Enjoy the day and keep an eye on the weather we could see at the end of the week. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.