A new study from the Employment Policies Institute shows that Connecticut’s 2012 paid sick leave law resulted in reduced benefits and less hours for young and low-wage workers.
The study, conducted by Dr. Thomas Ahn, an economist at the University of Kentucky, focused on Connecticut because it was the first state to mandate paid sick leave and therefore had the most measurable data. According to Ahn’s research one-third of surveyed businesses reduced other employee benefits to compensate for costs due to the law. One fifth of the businesses either raised prices or reduced staffing levels.
“While older employees seem largely un-impacted by the law, younger employees in Connecticut aged 20-34 saw a 24-hour reduction in annual hours worked. For a part-time employee in the service industry, that’s the equivalent of roughly one lost week of work per year. These employees lost $850 per year in annual income, the equivalent of 3.5 fewer pre-tax paychecks for someone working part-time at the state’s minimum wage.”
The paid sick leave law requires that all employers with more than 50 employees provide paid sick leave to their workers. The law excluded most manufacturing businesses and non-profits and focused largely on “service workers,” which include individuals working in restaurants, healthcare, hospitality services and child care.