Scientific Opinion Poll Finds New York State Small Businesses Support Family Leave Insurance Proposals Being Advanced at Federal and State Levels
Washington, DC̢??A scientific opinion poll released today by Small Business Majority found a strong majority of small business owners in New York State support creating a publicly administered family and medical leave insurance program, financed through payroll contributions by employees and employers. This idea was put forward in new legislation introduced Dec. 12 by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT that would establish a national paid family and medical leave program. Their proposal, known as the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, or the FAMILY Act, would provide up to 12 weeks of partial wage replacement a year to workers for the birth or adoption of a new child, to care for a serious illness of an immediate family member or a worker̢???s own serious medical condition.
The poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners on behalf of Small Business Majority from Jan. 24-Feb. 1, 2013 found that New York State̢???s small business owners are even more supportive of this concept than small businesses owners nationwide: six in 10 New York small business owners support the idea of family medical leave insurance financed with shared contributions by employers and employees, while a plurality (45 percent) of small business owners support the concept nationally.
̢???Family medical leave policies not only provide a safety net for small businesses and our employees in terms of healthcare and medical situations, but create a dedicated workforce. That leads to greater productivity, boosting small businesses̢??? bottom lines,̢???? said Matt Grove, owner of Bagel Grove in Utica, N.Y. ̢???It also shows workers we recognize they are not only contributing to the success of our businesses, but also to the wellbeing of themselves and their families.̢????
In addition to the federal push for paid family leave, some states have already established their own family leave insurance programs, and others, including New York, are actively pursuing such a move. New York is one of five states with an existing temporary disability insurance system on which paid family leave insurance can be built. Small business owners feel strongly that the Empire State should modernize the current system, which currently provides benefits for a worker̢???s own disability and pregnancy. A wide majority of entrepreneurs believe New York should expand this program to provide paid leave to care for a new baby or seriously ill family member like California and New Jersey have already done. Starting next month, Rhode Island will also begin providing paid family leave through its disability insurance system.
Specifically, 84 percent of New York small business owners support expanding the state disability insurance program to provide paid family leave if the insurance premiums are paid through modest payroll contributions by employees (less than $1 a week per employee). Nearly seven in 10 (69 percent) small business owners in upstate New York support expansion. When asked about a specific number of weeks of leave, support among New York small employers remains high, falling off only slightly. What̢???s more, 73 percent support the idea of providing workers with up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new baby or seriously ill family member if it is entirely funded by employee contributions of less than $1 per week.
̢???These types of policies help level the playing field between small businesses that want to offer this benefit but can̢???t, and their larger counterparts that can,̢???? said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. ̢???Small employers know policies like this create a happier and more productive staff, which in turn leads to increased productivity. And most small business owners value their employees, so it̢???s not surprising they support a policy that enables them to foster a happier workforce while protecting their workers and their bottom line.̢????
To read the full report visit: http://www.smallbusinessmajority.org/small-business-research/other/.
<p><strong>About Small Business Majority</strong><br />
Small Business Majority is a national small business advocacy organization, founded and run by small business owners to focus on solving the biggest problems facing America's 28 million small businesses today. Since 2005, we have actively engaged small business owners and policymakers in support of public policy solutions, and have delivered information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth and drive a strong, sustainable economy. We are a team of more than 30 working from our 11 offices in Washington, D.C. and 9 states, with a network of more than 45,000 small business owners and more than 2,000 business organizations, along with a formal strategic partnership program of more than 125 business organizations, enabling us to reach more than 500,000 entrepreneurs. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about issues including taxes, healthcare, access to capital, entrepreneurship, workforce development, clean energy and immigration. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on <a href="https://twitter.com/SBM_Media" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/SmallBusinessMajority" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://instagram.com/smlbizmajority/" target="_blank">Instagram</a>.</p>