Business groups, GOP express concerns regarding paid sick leave bill

Some warn that passage of bill would force them to “close our doors or lay people off.”

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Republicans and business owners are beginning their pushback on proposed legislation that would force companies to provide employees with paid sick leave.

At the core of the opposition is the belief that the regulations would be too punitive to small businesses, which wouldn’t be able to withstand the additional rules. reports on the debate going on in Salem:

Other speakers representing the Portland Business Alliance, National Federation of Independent Business, Associated Oregon Industries and the Oregon Farm Bureau voiced similar objections. They said Oregon employers, especially smaller ones, can ill afford another benefits mandate with talk of an increase in the minimum wage also on the table.

They said businesses incur extra administrative or payroll expenses and must invest a lot of time administering and tracking eligible workers’ use of the benefit. Doug Krahmer of the Oregon Farm Bureau said the proposed legislation flatly “doesn’t work for agriculture,” citing the hassles of record-keeping for seasonal employees and the inability of farmers to set prices for crops they grow.

In support of the bill was a Portland business owner and City Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

Under House Bill 2005 and its Senate companion Bill 454, all workers would earn an hour of sick leave for every 30 worked. The allowance would be capped at 56 hours a year.