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Footing the Bill for Family Leave

September 28, 2002

Count on any type of legislation that benefits average workers to bring out the worst in this state's relentlessly selfish and shortsighted business class ("Davis OKs Paid Family Leave Bill," Sept. 24).

It is astounding that benefits paid for exclusively with employee money and not costing employers a dime out of their own pockets are the cause of whining and gnashing of teeth not heard since the enactment of child labor laws.

If an employer can't afford to let an employee take time off to take care of a sick family member or for the birth of a child, then maybe the numerous costs to our society that benefit these private money-making ventures are simply too high for the rest of us to have to bear. Maybe we should just accept that these companies are not really economically viable or socially beneficial enterprises if they are unable to provide even the simplest accommodation for their employees. Perhaps it would not be a bad thing for them to fail under this apparently onerous burden and allow other, more worker-friendly companies to develop in their place.

James Hudson

San Marcos

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OK, let me get this straight: My one employee currently earns $800 a week of taxable income. She pays $300 a week for child care for her three kids. Now she can take six weeks off, spend the summer with her kids, eliminate the cost of child care and earn $440 a week tax-free. Or how about if I just want to take a long weekend and I'm out of sick and vacation time? Call your employer and tell him you're taking two days off, courtesy of the paid family leave bill. You get 55% of your salary tax-free and a relaxing weekend.

Just remember, Gov. Gray Davis, employers vote--and this one will be holding her nose and voting for Republican candidate Bill Simon.

Leslie Rodriguez

Los Angeles

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