Very rarely are payroll people political in the payroll office. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have our own political views but most of the time we are concerned with compliance rather than legislation. But in this one instance, in my opinion, payroll needs to become political. And what is this area… Sick leave!
We all know the politics and statistics. United States is the only developed country that has no national paid sick leave mandate. However this is becoming a national issue especially for payroll. Because the federal government has not implemented a national program, over the past year more and more cities, counties, and states are implementing mandatory sick leave policies.
In the last couple of months alone, as the subscribers to The Payroll Pause, have found out, the state of Oregon, Montgomery County, Maryland, and Emeryville, California have all implemented sick leave policies.
This is why payroll needs to get involved. This hodgepodge of different sick leave programs between different cities, even within the same state is going to become, if it hasn’t already, a logistical nightmare for payroll. Gone are the days when companies or their employees stayed in one state or even one city. We now have hundreds of thousands of employees who work in two or more cities or states on a regular basis. The taxation requirements for multi-state employees are difficult enough without having to add sick leave requirements to the mix.
What we need is payroll professionals to contact their representatives to get a national program. It doesn’t matter which side you’re on. Maybe you believe that all employees should have paid sick leave or maybe you believe it should to be left up to the employer. The point is that is no longer an important argument because the sick leave movement is here and whether you’re in favor of it or not it is coming to your payroll department city by city, county by county, and state-by-state. So rather than wait to have to deal with hundreds of different sick leave policies, depending on whether it’s state or local why not have one national policy? Payroll should stand up and say “hey can we have just one policy here?” If you don’t want to do it because you don’t believe in the sick leave movement, then do it for your own peace of mind and workload.
That’s my payroll opinion. What do you think? Post your comments on this topic and let’s get a dialogue of payroll professionals going on this important issue.