It’s not just Oklahoma. Florida passed a bill last year barring local governments from enacting mandatory paid sick time laws. The Orlando Sentinel reported on June 14:
The Republican governor sided with Walt Disney World, Darden Restaurants, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and a broad array of powerful business interests who argued the ban was needed to avoid a patchwork of local employment rules for companies.
That’s code for “to avoid having to pay for workers’ sick leave.”
“Protecting small businesses and jobs from union mandates that drive up costs makes Florida more competitive,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber. “This law ensures mandatory leave is decided at the state level and preempts union-backed efforts to have local and county governments adopt policies governing terms of employment and other wage related issues.”
That’s right. Paying the workers does indeed drive up costs. Perhaps Florida should consider laws permitting outright slavery.
The AFL-CIO provides some specifics of who promoted the law.
The bill was supported by business interests, including the the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Florida Chamber of Commerce, Walt Disney World and Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster.
The legislation is similar to model legislation promoted by ALEC in various states and the bill was championed by ALEC member Steve Precourt (R), the state House majority leader. Since 2011, 67 ALEC-sponsored bills to weaken wage standards have been introduced in state legislatures, 12 of which have been signed into law.
Scott’s signing of the bill preempts an Orange County referendum scheduled for 2014 that would have let voters determine whether the county should require businesses to provide paid sick leave. More than 50,000 voters signed petitions to get the measure on the ballot. Big Business opposed the referendum, claiming it would drive up costs, but evidence from other locales that have approved paid sick leave measures found that such laws either had no impact or a positive one on profitability and that such policies are good for business and job growth.
But it’s so much more fun to gouge the workers.