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Do the Math: Family Leave Bill Won't Work

October 06, 2002

Re "Davis OKs Paid Family Leave Bill," Sept. 24:

As I read the measure, most California workers will get 55% for up to six weeks to care for sick family members. And they say the funds will come from payroll deductions averaging about $26 a year. You don't really believe this number will cover it, do you? There hasn't been a liberal program that cost anywhere near the initial estimates. Prime examples are Medicare, Social Security and welfare.

Who will check to see if claims are legitimate? If this sounds like another massive state bureaucracy, you're right. Why do we need this? Most employees have paid vacations, paid sick leave and paid maternity benefits. Why can't these be used? This is just another attack on business by Democrats and another sop to labor unions in order to keep their vote.

Bob Franz

Placentia

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The reason small business is opposed to the Family Leave Act is that, first, it is seen as just a foot in the door; trust me, in the future the door will be pried open more and more, and employers will be required to pay for the benefit as another business tax.

Second, the act interferes with an employer's freedom to negotiate with valued employees in order to keep them, and dismiss employees that were deadwood anyway. Now a marginal employee will be guaranteed that his job will stay open, and his employer will be prevented from hiring a permanent replacement, with the result that productivity and income to the business (which is, after all, what pays the salaries of the other employees) will be lost.

Bill Savage

Orange

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