Saturday, August 20, 2011

Denver's Mandatory Sick Leave, Part 5

If this ballot initiative passes, there will need to be people to enforce it. Every employee in Denver; full time, part time, temporary, you name it will be covered. Every employer will be required to maintain records of this time off program and have those records available for review for a period of 5 years. In the event that any employee claims that they were treated unfairly during a 90 day period following any time off, the employer will automatically be considered in violation and the burden of proof lies with the employer to prove his innocence.

Do you think there will be claims? You can count on it! When an employee is fired, does that person say, "I deserved to be fired"? When someone does not get a promotion they felt they should get, do they say, "I didn't deserve a promotion"? When someone gets demoted, do they say, "I should have been demoted"? Has anyone ever claimed the boss made them do this or that because the boss was mad at them? If any of these things happen within a 90 day window of time off, the employer will be held accountable.

There are about a million employees in Denver. Now, if this were to pass, we're going to ask a staff of 8 people to enforce it. That's right, 8 people. If you think the courts are backed up, wait and see how bogged down this system gets. I can imagine a system that takes years before a claim is dealt with.

And who are these 8 people? They are the 8 person staff of Denver's Agency for Human Rights and Community Relations. Their current duties include addressing issues on:
Older adults
Racial, ethnic and religious minorities
People with disabilities
Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people
Immigrants and refugees

When are they going to find time to deal with this additional burden?

Obviously, it's an impossible task. Next, we'll be hearing how they need to increase staff, dramatically. And who gets to pay for all this? You and me!

Maybe we could ask the businesses of Denver to pay more taxes to have Big Brother watching over them.

In this economy, businesses are struggling already. Adding to the cost of doing business in Denver is only going to produce more unemployment, and more businesses leaving this community.

We need an initiative to solve problems, not create them!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Denver's Mandatory Sick Leave, Part 4

Don't read this ballot initiative. At least that's what proponents of this bill want.

If you name your ballot initiative something decent and worthwhile; then you have a good chance that people will vote for it. We think sick people and we think contagious disease. We think these poor souls suffering from highly contagious flu. So why are there so many paragraphs with so many statistics talking about domestic violence? This initiative addresses the need to provide time for obtaining restraining orders and time to find housing.

Proponents point out; Women account for about 85 percent of the victims of domestic violence and men account for approximately 15 percent of the victims. Therefore, women disproportionately need time off to care for their health or to find solutions, such as obtaining a restraining order or finding housing, to avoid or prevent physical or sexual abuse.

Domestic violence is a serious problem. Why are we hiding behind a ballot initiative labeled as sick leave, and asking employers to give employees paid time off from work if we are concerned with domestic violence? Shouldn't we be addressing the real issue? Make a law to address domestic violence relief and call it that.

Why are federal and state employees exempt from this initiative? Do employees who work for government organizations not suffer from domestic violence?

Asking the voters to secure employer paid time off for a waitress earning $4.34 per hour, is not the solution to domestic violence.

Asking the voters to secure employer paid time off for a waitress earning $4.34 per hour, is not the solution to financial security for sick employees.

Asking the voters to approve this initiative is a slap in the face to any intelligent voter who has read this initiative!

Next, we'll address the enforcement of this fiasco.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Denver's Mandatory Sick Leave Part 3

Please read Parts 1 & 2 before reading this.

I promised in Part 2 that I would let you know who was covered if this initiative passes. The answer is obvious; the employee. It should be simple enough to understand that an employer pays the employee for not coming to work, because as we learned in Part 1; proponents of this initiative say that lack of paid sick days, "poses a serious health problem not only for affected workers but also for their families, their employers, the health care system of Denver and the community as a whole".

It wouldn't make sense to cover an employee's mom getting sick. Or would it? What if Johnny, our employee visited his mom when she was contagious, and went to work and spread these germs to fellow workers, and they went home and infected their families, and soon everyone in the community descended on the health care system of Denver, that would be bad. (My English Professor would love that last sentence)

Don't worry your pretty little head, because lucky for us, the proponents of this initiative thought about the above mentioned scenario, and mom's illness gets our Johnny the paid sick time he deserves.

Who else gets our Johnny paid time off? Well, any family member you can think of is covered by the all-inclusive definition as provided in this initiative. “Family member” means:
(i) A person related to an employee by blood, marriage or legal adoption including a child, parent, spouse, sibling, grandparent or grandchild of the employee;
(ii) A foster child, parent, sibling, grandparent or grandchild of the employee, a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis or a child for whom the employee is the legal guardian;
(iii) The employee’s domestic partner, as defined in Section 24-50-603, C.R.S.;
(iv) The spouse of an employee’s child, parent, sibling or grandparent;
(v) A legal guardian of an employee, a person who stood in loco parentis to the employee when he or she was a minor, or a parent of the employee’s spouse;
(vi) Any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close relationship with an employee is equivalent to a family relationship.

I'm sure my dog, Jake is covered under this definition somewhere; and do you think there's a hidden meaning in their repeated use of the word loco?

I'll be back with Part 4 soon, and if you plan on voting for this initiative in November, please get a shirt that says, I support Initiative 300. Then stop in and visit any of our community businesses.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Denver's Mandatory Sick Leave Part 2

Be sure to read my blog; Denver's Mandatory Sick Leave located below, befor reading this.

After all, it is the American way to establish laws where the accused is presumed guilty until proven innocent, right?

This initiative states, "There shall be a rebuttable presumption of unlawful retaliation under this Article whenever an employer takes adverse action against a person within 90 days of when that person: (1) files a complaint with the agency or a court alleging a violation of any provision of this Article; (2) informs any person about an employer's alleged violation of this Article; (3) cooperates with the agency or other persons in the investigation or prosecution of any alleged violation of this Article; (4) opposes any policy, practice, or act that is unlawful under this Article; or (5) informs any person of his or her rights under this Article."

I especially like number two; informs any person. Can that be my mother? What about a stranger at the bar? I guess my dog doesn't count. He is my buddy, but not really a person.

Now let's see who is affected by this initiative. "Employer" means every person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, migratory field labor contractor or crew leader, receiver, or other officer of court in Colorado, and any agent or officer thereof, of the above mentioned classes, employing any person in Colorado. For purposes of this Article, employer does not include (1) the United States government or (2) the State of Colorado including any office, department, independent agency, authority, institution, association, society or other body of the State including the legislature and judiciary."

Why do they make laws that never seem to include the government? Don't government employees get sick? Sorry, if you work for the government, telling your mom won't do you any good.

If you think this is good; wait until you see who is covered by this in my next blog.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Denver's Mandatory Sick Leave

I love DUMB ballot initiatives. Why? Because they are so much fun to tear apart, like the one requiring Denver businesses to provide 40 to 72 hours of paid sick leave every year.

On the surface, this seems OK. After all, if you are sick you should stay home.

Proponents of this initiative say that lack of paid sick days, "poses a serious health problem not only for affected workers but also for their families, their employers, the health care system of Denver and the community as a whole".

It's a MIRACLE! This one initiative apparently will eradicate serious health problems for the affected worker, their family, their employers, the health care system of Denver, and the entire community.

I think there should be a "Responsibility Affidavit" attached to all ballot issues. Basically, it would hold those responsible for bringing forward such "snake oil" ideas, in the event they do not accomplish their intended benefits.
Who pays for these crazy ideas? Denver businesses? NEWS FLASH! Denver businesses can only pay any cost increases by raising their prices for the services and products they provide.

You say, "but most of us have paid sick days, and maybe this is just to force unreasonable employers to offer reasonable availability to time off".

What if this ballot, if passed, would allow an employee to utilize these sick hours in any time allotment from 1 hour to 3 days with no question as to their validity, AND then for the next 90 days; any disciplinary action brought forth by the employer would be considered to be retaliatory action for the sick time and the employer would be held as guilty unless he could prove otherwise.

That's exactly what this ballot issue calls for. An employee can take one "sick day" every 3 months, and their job is safe from any disciplinary action for the next 3 months. Tell the boss to stick it in his ear if he doesn't like the job they're doing, or the employee will say it's retaliatory because they took a day off.

The proponents of this initiative define retaliatory action as; "Retaliatory personnel action" means the discharge, suspension, demotion or other adverse action taken by the employer against an employee who exercises his or her rights under this Article and also includes any sanctions against a recipient of public benefits.

Whoa! Wasn't this about providing sick days?

I'll post more about this soon, and please share it with everyone you know.