2008-07-30 / Opinion

Letters To The Editor

Recent comments made by Carol Perkins in last week's Buckeye article regarding the impact of the Proposed Healthy Families Act (HFA) were unfounded and ill-conceived.

Our company (Black Swamp Equipment) has been providing jobs in Northwest Ohio for over 30 years. We know the numbers behind this mandate and the detrimental effects it will have on Ohio's already ailing economy and workers throughout the state.

Currently, we provide 33 employees with five paid sick days and up to 15 paid vacation days. It is clear that we, like most small businesses, understand the importance of providing good benefits to our employees.

Unfortunately, because this mandate would place additional record-keeping and administrative requirements on our company, our current efficiency and ability to turn profits into added benefits would be negated.

Furthermore, the fine print of the mandate will make it impossible for us to maintain the superior customer service our customers have grown accustomed to.

Over the past three years, our healthcare costs (of which we pay 66% of the premium for our employees) have risen an average of 25 percent, and our workers' compensation premiums have doubled.

We have enjoyed providing our employees with annual pay raises, and this is especially important now with today's increasing gas and food prices. Nonetheless, government mandates such as the HFA will force us to cut wages and/or benefits.

Small business owners are very supportive of quality benefi ts, but we are resistant to efforts which prohibit our employees from determining what benefits they value most.

Just as Ms. Perkins pointed out in last week's article, she does not have paid sick time because she prefers a higher wage. Don't our employees deserve to determine their benefit options as well?

Jeff Fryman Archbold

Ohio Healthy Families Act is good for business, good for employees.

When employees are healthy and feel secure enough in their jobs to be able to manage healthcare needs of themselves and their family while giving their all to the company, they produce more and are more effi cient. When an employee is sick, work performance is less than 100%.

But an employee who knows he can plan on preventive and acute health care has mental resources available to do his best at work, rather than wasting work time thinking how to care for his own or his family's illnesses.

This act would provide time for employees to recover from everyday, short-term illnesses while not losing any wages for a day or seven missed from work in a year.

CEOs have this type of piece of mind. It's time for workers who are so hard-pressed with today's exorbitant consumer and gas prices, to have this type of peace of mind, also.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A sick day prevents future missed work and prevents poor work performance due to illness on the job. It also prevents infection of coworkers and their missed work and poorer work performance.

With a company committed to healthy workers through prevention, health insurance costs are lower since many serious illnesses are avoided by preventive care.

A CEO looking at the short term sees expenses with sick pay. But a CEO with longterm vision sees increased production, reduced employee turnover, minimized employee replacement expenses, and less-stressed, more satisfied, healthier, more productive workers, which translates into more dollars for the company.

Smart companies know employees are their greatest resource. Healthy workers make healthy, productive companies. Sick pay for workers is a winwin situation for both workers and companies.

Sarah Maxwell Archbold

Return to top