The complexity of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and the added state provisions can be costly to employers of any size. The administrative burden and potential for overlap with other benefits can have a serious impact on workforce productivity.
President Clinton touted his new ‘family leave’ bill, sold as free time off to care for children. It turns out the employers of 50 or more covered by the bill have to pay medical care during the leave. At an average cost of $2,000 for the leave, it is not surprising that a Gallup study for the National Federation of Independent Business, found that half of the businesses said they would be reluctant to hire young women under the law, would try to replace low-skilled jobs with machines, and would trim other benefits.
There is nothing profamily about putting people out of work--but that is exactly what this bill does. Estimates are that tens of thousands of working men and women will be put out of work if this bill passes….there is nothing democratic about Congress playing Big Brother and mandating one set of benefits over another.
America’s business owners are a resilient bunch, but let there by no doubt, HR 1 will be the demise of some. And as that occurs, the light of freedom will grow dimmer.
Passing this bill puts us on a slippery slope to closing exemptions and mandating paid leave.
On that family leave bill, I think that it would impose a burden upon businesses, including small businesses.... You would be telling businesses, through that act, that they are required to bring temporaries in, go through a training cycle, and lose the continuity that is so important to making a business function well. It has the effect of making it more expensive for them to do business. More expensive per employee, more expensive per job. The business can only defend itself by offering fewer jobs. That's the only way they can pay for it. It is a job killer….It makes it more expensive to hire people, so businesses say we won't hire people.
[The Democratic Party] don't get that the ability of American businesses to create jobs is directly related to the burden government places on their backs. They don't get that mandating family and medical leave is just one more burden added…. Mandating that business pick up the tab for these benefits allows them to advance their agendas without spending Federal dollars.
[The FMLA] is an unprecedented, inflexible, Government-mandated employee benefit that will strangle both individual and employer flexibility in addressing workplace needs….Government mandates…do not contribute to economic recovery and growth. Resources spent to comply with Federal mandates cannot be spent to create jobs. These mandatory costs on business are not good for the economy as a whole. Employers must be free of the same kind of rigidities that have plagued the economies of many nations in Europe.
We can fix it for you. We fix everything in Washington. We raise your taxes, we raise the deficit, we have more regulations, so we can give you more mandates and tell your employer what to do in Topeka, KS, or wherever it may be in America…. Well, Mr. President, this is one of those cases where Washington does not know best….The real world impact of this well-intentioned legislation--this mandate--is that employers will revisit those projections and budgets and cut back on something else, including creating new jobs at the very time that we need new jobs.
Even though the bill mandates unpaid leave, it is still costly for businesses….the costs of offering 12 weeks of maternity and infant-care leave and providing health insurance during the absence could run as much as $7.9 billion per year--costs which would be paid by consumers in the form of higher prices, a damaged economy, and a loss of jobs…Furthermore, America faces its stiffest economic competition in history. If our Nation's employers are to succeed in an increasingly complex and competitive global marketplace, they must have the flexibility to meet this challenge. It is vital that we do not mandate Federal policies which stifle the creation of new jobs or result in the elimination of existing jobs.