City of Milwaukee workforce says, “Feed me. I’d like to bite your hand.”

In all the hoopla yesterday the City of Milwaukee passed a binding referendum (that means it has to be law) that employers must provide sick days. The formula demands one hour for every thirty worked. If there are 10 or fewer employees, an employer has to total to 5 days; otherwise it’s 9.

Of course the Mayor, Common Council, and a prominent business organization realize the expense workers just voted for their bosses. There’s talk that the business group might set up to litigate.

Milwaukee is the third city in the COUNTRY to try such a thing.

An earlier comment to the blog suggested businesses might relocate out of the mandated zone. Let’s think this through – who might leave? Larger companies already have this type of benefit in place. Roundy’s and Manpower probably aren’t going to up and move. But help me out – does someplace like McDonald’s or Starbucks? How about the Mom and Pop liquor store?

I suspect this new law will create tons of paper work, a few complaints, and little compliance. But I don’t know if it will really move existing business out of their current service zones. Perhaps it would keep someone from looking, though.


  1. Randy in Richmond says:

    As a smaller business there are ways to handle this. Say you pay $10/hour to an employee classification. All new employees get $9.70/hour. All existing employees wait a little longer for next raise. Or raise prices for goods or services provided. You can be sure most businesses won’t eat this. I can’t believe this would apply to Manpower–how would you regulate it? What a PC law.

  2. How would this affect a company like the one I work for? We don’t have “sick days”. But we DO have “Flexible Time Off” days…which one would use for vacation days and/or sick days. May I assume that my company wouldn’t have to add another 9 days to our time off? (This would create QUITE a hoopla, since we are an international company, one that has up until now made sure that all offices have the same benefits…so that if they had to add 9 days to our time off, they would have to do so for the rest of the offices, nationally and internationally, to keep up with their “equal” status between all offices….

    Sounds nuts to me…??

  3. Wilson828 says:

    My wife’s employer has over 600 people in Milwaukee. In anticipation of this referendum passing, they have made plans to move. Why? Because like Randy has stated above – someone has to pay for it. The issue is that people think they get another 9 days of off time coming to them – paid!

    This is stupid. Simply stupid. More union bullshit. There was a place for unions in our country’s past – now they just drive up prices and run companies out of business doing this kind of crap.

    Paid sick days = days off in the minds of socialist thinking union workers that supported this issue.

    I’m just a little wound about this as you can tell.

  4. No, not at all. But you should be proud of me for finally getting around to it. 🙂

  5. Just watch how fast all the paid holidays disappear!

  6. Wilson828 – I’m not so sure we can trace this to one union. You’re right, they’ve served a place.

    I grew up in a union household. They provided training and good working conditions. Now they are paying Dad a bit of a pension. He’d be the first to admit that sometimes they go too far. He has stories that would certainly reinforce your sentiment. I guess I can see both sides.

    I think the important thing for us to watch is the movement of companies in response to this vote and whether or not the vote is upheld. I see where the Commerce group is planning to sue.

  7. The type of business that is most likely to move is one that is basically an office operation. Laake and Joys was on the news last night and the owner stated that she will consider moving when their lease is up. I think this business consists of more than an office operation. Other companies may take away some other off day or benefit in response Remember part of the Obama/liberal agenda is to expand union influence like removing the “secret vote”. Think more pay for the same amount of productivity. This is not good for our economy.

  8. Wilson828 says: