WSJ article: Small business owners write in to support paid sick days

Photo via The Wall Street Journal

In a blog post last week, the Wall Street Journal asked readers – and small business owners in particular – to leave comments about how Seattle’s paid sick days proposal would affect their business.

Since then, three commenters (two from San Francisco, one from Seattle) have identified as business owners.

Of those three – a restaurant owner, a grocery store owner, and the VP of an online software development company – all were strongly supportive of paid sick days.

Read their comments below, and if you’re a business owner, be sure to add your support!

From the comments:

Will Friedman, VP Product Management & Customer Support,

Our business in Seattle has always offered paid sick leave. But as a parent, I see this mainly as a public health issue, and I’d be happy to see this extended to all business. It’s troubling that grocery store employees and restaurant workers don’t get paid sick leave, and feel compelled to come to work.

One other aspect of this that doesn’t get talked about enough is that there is already a Washington State law that allows employees to apply their paid sick leave–if they have it–to care for their sick children.

I wish that all the parents of kids in my daughter’s day care had paid sick leave, so then they could use it to take care of their kids instead of sending them to day care where they get everyone else sick.

Jennifer Piallat, Owner, Zazie Restaurant:

As a restauranteur in San Francisco, I was very hesitant about the impact of our Paid Sick Leave program on my bottom line and the reliability of my staffing; I was concerned it would become more of a Paid Hangover Day! However, I’ve found that not only have my staff not abused the system, it’s led to us being much less likely to have the horrible “sick-outs” that restaurants are known for- where your entire staff is sick at once. Since we work in such close quarters and often eat/ drink from the same plates, we used to have times when we had so many sick staff we’d have to close. Now, people stay home when they’re ill, thus not infecting the customers OR the other staff members. It’s worked quite well for us. If any of the Seattle restauranteurs would like to talk to me about this, please feel free to email

Sam Mogannam, Owner, Bi-Rite Market:

I own Bi-Rite, a local community market and creamery in the Mission District of San Francisco which employs close to one hundred workers. When the San Francisco paid sick days law was first being debated I, like many other local businesses, was concerned; now I appreciate its value. It creates a better, less stressful work environment and increases employee morale. I encourage Seattle employers to get behind the concept and to work on the nitty gritty aspects of how to implement.

About seattlehealthyworkforce

The Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce is a diverse coalition of businesses, faith-based, labor, family, and community groups. We’re working to ensure everyone has paid sick days, so we can all have safer food, healthier families and more productive workplaces.
This entry was posted in Business productivity, Paid sick days, Testimony and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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