Paid Family Leave

Date: 2010

S. 5791 (Savino)
A. 8742 (Silver)
 
MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION
 
Unshackle Upstate, a bipartisan coalition representing more than 70,000 employers with upwards of 1.5 
million workers oppose the enactment of the aforementioned bill.  This bill would impose damaging, 
unnecessary and disproportionate standards on members of the business community in New York State.  
This legislation would require that most employers in New York State allow “for the payment of 
disability benefits to employees who take family leave, either to bond with a child under the age of one, 
or to care for a sick relative.”  
 
This legislation would mandate that all employers provide a 12-week paid family leave for its workforce, 
regardless of the size of the business.  A “one size fits all” mandate of this nature does not adequately 
factor in the wide range of employment situations that are in place throughout New York State.  This 
legislation does not provide any flexibility for specific employers to craft their own family leave policies 
based on the needs of the company or its workers.  
 
In addition, many businesses already have paid family leave programs in place, providing adequate time 
off for their employees when needed.  Information from the Compensation Data 2006 New York survey, 
an annual survey sponsored by the New York State Business Council, shows that New York employers in 
all industries average 12.6 paid time off days in the first year of employment growing to 27.9 paid time 
off days for employees with over 30 years of service.  
 
Moreover, this legislation would disproportionately affect small businesses.  The current federal Family 
Medical Leave Act exempts small businesses with 50 or fewer employees – appropriately recognizing 
that there are many small businesses that are ill-equipped and understaffed to handle such a mandate.   
The small business community already struggles with daily administrative costs, high taxes, unnecessary 
mandates and rising health care costs.
 
For these reasons, Unshackle Upstate opposes the enactment of this legislation.