2008-07-30 / Business

Campaign Promised To Defeat Sick Days Plan

An Ohio group who hopes to defeat a ballot initiative that would mandate paid sick days for Ohio workers has promised a three-part campaign.

John C. Mahaney Jr., treasurer of Ohioans to Protect Jobs & Fair Benefits, said the group will communicate with voters in a variety of ways.

Field representatives will speak to clubs, chambers of commerce, and other organizations to get the group's message out.

They will use "a very-targeted campaign of real, live phone calls. No robo-calls," Mahaney said.

"Also, we'll be investing heavily in media, particularly television."

Ohioans for Healthy Families is seeking to gather enough signatures to place the Ohio Healthy Families Act, OHFA, before voters in November.

If it passes, employers with 25 or more employees will be mandated to offer paid sick days to full-time workers and a pro-rated numbers to part-timers.

Trade Associations

Mahaney said Ohioans to Protect Jobs & Fair Benefits is made up of 40 trade associations, ranging from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business to groups representing farmers, auto dealers, manufacturers, and grocers.

Mahaney agreed that at first glance, mandated paid sick days are an appealing idea. But he said once people think about the effects of the proposal, "that turns them around 180 degrees."

A fact sheet prepared by Ohioans to Protect Jobs & Fair Benefits said if voters approved mandated sick days, worker pay, benefits, and jobs will be threatened.

"The proposed mandate imposes significant added costs on employers who will be forced to make up the difference somewhere, including reductions in other benefits, pay, and even jobs. Some employers may even be forced to balance their costs by increasing the contributions employees pay for their healthcare coverage," the fact sheet states.

The group claims because the OHFA allows workers to take sick leave with little or no notice, in increments as small as an hour or less, it will be diffi- cult to schedule workers.

Ohioans to Protect Jobs & Fair Benefits said the OHFA will drive up the prices of goods and services, and interfere with the traditional relationship between employers and employees.

"This proposal guts the employer employee relationship and threatens the production stability achieved during years of mutual cooperation," the fact sheet states.

Job Killer

Mahaney said if passed, the OHFA will be a job killer.

If it passes, "it would make Ohio unique in the 50 states," he said.

The fact sheet states Ohio's economy is the worst it's been in 20 years. The OHFA would "significantly drive up the cost of doing business, when we can least afford it.

"Some Ohio companies will leave for less expensive states, while companies in other states will dismiss Ohio as a potential location for expansion.

"In short, this mandate will kill economic development at a time when we need more, not fewer jobs."

A company's CEO "would be a fool to come to Ohio if we had this," Mahaney said.

Archbold

The mandated sick days proposal came to light in Archbold, Monday, July 7, when Jim Wyse, Archbold mayor, announced that a company that could employ up to 500 workers in the village said it would not locate here due to the OHFA.

"Water, sewers, the workforce- all of those things are in place. It's simply this ballot initiative that turned the prospect away," Wyse said at the time.

The firm has not been identified. - David Pugh

Return to top