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Author Topic: Why is this the business of the government?  (Read 2329 times)
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brettmcd
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« on: August 20, 2008, 02:37:00 PM »

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080820/ap_on_bi_ge/paid_sick_days


Why is it the business of the government to mandate that a company offer a certain type of days off?    Where I work doesnt have specified sick days, vacation days or anything like that, we have a specified number of personal days that cover all these situations, meaning that I dont have to be sick to use a specific kind of day off.    There are jobs that offer sick days and jobs that dont, if you want a job that offers sick days then gee maybe dont take a job that doesnt offer them.   Its not the place of government to be setting benefit packages for employers.   This goes for mandating health insurance and other such nonsense as well.
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msteelers
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2008, 09:27:18 PM »

I don't necessarily see this a good example of when the government should interfere, but at the same time I think all jobs should offer some sort of sick pay. I know when I didn't have sick days nothing could keep me from coming to work. I wasn't productive, but I was present and getting paid. I also most likely helped spread the current cold or flu through the office.

Someone in the article compares it to federal minimum wage, and I think that is a good comparison. Should the government be able to regulate how much or how little we each get paid? If so, why can't they regulate how many sick days we get?
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brettmcd
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2008, 10:12:26 PM »

Quote from: msteelers on August 20, 2008, 09:27:18 PM

I don't necessarily see this a good example of when the government should interfere, but at the same time I think all jobs should offer some sort of sick pay. I know when I didn't have sick days nothing could keep me from coming to work. I wasn't productive, but I was present and getting paid. I also most likely helped spread the current cold or flu through the office.

Someone in the article compares it to federal minimum wage, and I think that is a good comparison. Should the government be able to regulate how much or how little we each get paid? If so, why can't they regulate how many sick days we get?

I dont think the federal government should be able to tell an employer how much an employee should be paid, but thats a discussion for another day.    I

d much rather have the policy my company has of personal days that can be used for anything you want, rather then have a certain number of them set aside that I can only use if I am sick and for no other reason.    If an employer wants to offer sick days thats fine and can even be an advantage in getting people to work there, but that should be the choice of the employer if they want to offer that benefit.
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Blackadar
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2008, 10:42:18 PM »

Quote from: brettmcd on August 20, 2008, 10:12:26 PM

Quote from: msteelers on August 20, 2008, 09:27:18 PM

I don't necessarily see this a good example of when the government should interfere, but at the same time I think all jobs should offer some sort of sick pay. I know when I didn't have sick days nothing could keep me from coming to work. I wasn't productive, but I was present and getting paid. I also most likely helped spread the current cold or flu through the office.

Someone in the article compares it to federal minimum wage, and I think that is a good comparison. Should the government be able to regulate how much or how little we each get paid? If so, why can't they regulate how many sick days we get?

I dont think the federal government should be able to tell an employer how much an employee should be paid, but thats a discussion for another day.    I

d much rather have the policy my company has of personal days that can be used for anything you want, rather then have a certain number of them set aside that I can only use if I am sick and for no other reason.    If an employer wants to offer sick days thats fine and can even be an advantage in getting people to work there, but that should be the choice of the employer if they want to offer that benefit.

Decent enough point there.

There's two ways to look at this issue.  From a business standpoint, the government probably doensn't belong mandating things like sick leave.  It's really a business decision.

However, there are the medical aspects of a business not offering sick leave.  When it's not offered and employees are compelled to come in (or risk losing their jobs in some cases), the health of the other employees and customers can be put at risk.  So does the Government have the right to mandate this from a health and safety perspective?  I think it's pretty safe to say they do if the regulations are reasonable. 

So do the interests of the business or the interests of the public matter more in this instance?  Frankly, I'm not really sure, but I do see both sides of this issue.
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msteelers
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2008, 11:41:04 AM »

Quote from: brettmcd on August 20, 2008, 10:12:26 PM

Quote from: msteelers on August 20, 2008, 09:27:18 PM

I don't necessarily see this a good example of when the government should interfere, but at the same time I think all jobs should offer some sort of sick pay. I know when I didn't have sick days nothing could keep me from coming to work. I wasn't productive, but I was present and getting paid. I also most likely helped spread the current cold or flu through the office.

Someone in the article compares it to federal minimum wage, and I think that is a good comparison. Should the government be able to regulate how much or how little we each get paid? If so, why can't they regulate how many sick days we get?

I dont think the federal government should be able to tell an employer how much an employee should be paid, but thats a discussion for another day.    I

d much rather have the policy my company has of personal days that can be used for anything you want, rather then have a certain number of them set aside that I can only use if I am sick and for no other reason.    If an employer wants to offer sick days thats fine and can even be an advantage in getting people to work there, but that should be the choice of the employer if they want to offer that benefit.

My company does both. We have 10 days set aside for anything we want (sick days, optional days, bereavement, whatever), and we also have 10 vacation days. At times it makes no sense to me why we would have two separate groups.
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Moliere
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2008, 01:12:52 PM »

Quote from: Blackadar on August 20, 2008, 10:42:18 PM

So do the interests of the business or the interests of the public matter more in this instance?  Frankly, I'm not really sure, but I do see both sides of this issue.

How is this an OR question? The same individuals make up both groups (i.e., business and the public). Of course its in the interest of a business to have a healthy workforce. Having sick employees lowers productivity. The question becomes at what point do we need to have government interference on how they allocate paid time off to their employees. Unless we're talking about a company that has a policy of forcing people with contagious disease to be around others I don't see a need for any interference. The problem is that the government tries to come up with a single solution that is supposed to fit everyone. I know the "free market" are dirty words to some on this Forum, but why not let companies decide a policy and employees choose to work there based upon the policy? Let companies experiment with different combinations of PTO days and allocation methods. For some industries it might make more sense to split it out between vacation days and sick days. I just hate this top down mandate from the government saying every single company in XYZ State has to do it the same way.
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msteelers
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2008, 09:07:18 PM »

Quote from: Moliere on August 21, 2008, 01:12:52 PM

How is this an OR question? The same individuals make up both groups (i.e., business and the public). Of course its in the interest of a business to have a healthy workforce. Having sick employees lowers productivity. The question becomes at what point do we need to have government interference on how they allocate paid time off to their employees. Unless we're talking about a company that has a policy of forcing people with contagious disease to be around others I don't see a need for any interference. The problem is that the government tries to come up with a single solution that is supposed to fit everyone. I know the "free market" are dirty words to some on this Forum, but why not let companies decide a policy and employees choose to work there based upon the policy? Let companies experiment with different combinations of PTO days and allocation methods. For some industries it might make more sense to split it out between vacation days and sick days. I just hate this top down mandate from the government saying every single company in XYZ State has to do it the same way.

I don't think the government needs to come in and say, "this is the way it has to happen." It could be very similar to the minimum wage, where they put a basic minimum on what the company is required to give. At my company full time employees acquire sick days at a rate of 0.83 per month, which equals out to be 10 a year. You can mess with the numbers however you like, but the bottom line would be, "this is the minimum amount of sick days you have to give your full time employees every year."
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Ironrod
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2008, 10:26:30 PM »

Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about banning smoking in the workplace? Should we let bar and restaurant owners set their own individual smoking policy, and let the marketplace sort them out, or is there an overriding public health interest? Is sick leave policy also being sold as a public health matter, or is it on a par with the 40-hour week and minimum wage?
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Moliere
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2008, 05:18:27 AM »

Quote from: Ironrod on August 21, 2008, 10:26:30 PM

Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about banning smoking in the workplace? Should we let bar and restaurant owners set their own individual smoking policy, and let the marketplace sort them out, or is there an overriding public health interest?

Last time I checked bars and restaurants are private property. Nobody is forced to be there. Customers choose to enter the establishment knowing there is smoking. Individuals choose to work there knowing there is smoking. As long as cigarettes remain a legal drug then its up to the private property owner to establish the smoking policy. If the owner can't find decent help because no one wants to work in a smoking environment then he will go out of business. If the owner can't attract customers that are willing or want to purchase his goods and services in a smoking environment then he will go out of business. If every place has smoking then there is an opportunity for an entrepreneur to open a nonsmoking facility and create their own niche service. There is no public heath interest involved here.
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brettmcd
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2008, 07:44:17 AM »

Quote from: Moliere on August 22, 2008, 05:18:27 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on August 21, 2008, 10:26:30 PM

Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about banning smoking in the workplace? Should we let bar and restaurant owners set their own individual smoking policy, and let the marketplace sort them out, or is there an overriding public health interest?

Last time I checked bars and restaurants are private property. Nobody is forced to be there. Customers choose to enter the establishment knowing there is smoking. Individuals choose to work there knowing there is smoking. As long as cigarettes remain a legal drug then its up to the private property owner to establish the smoking policy. If the owner can't find decent help because no one wants to work in a smoking environment then he will go out of business. If the owner can't attract customers that are willing or want to purchase his goods and services in a smoking environment then he will go out of business. If every place has smoking then there is an opportunity for an entrepreneur to open a nonsmoking facility and create their own niche service. There is no public heath interest involved here.

I would have to at least somewhat disagree with you here, im one of the biggest advocates of the government keeping its nose out of things, but a case can be be made for the state government regulating safe working conditions for employees.   The arguement that the employees choose to work there could be used to excuse any number of totally unsafe working conditions.    I am not a big fan of the smoking bans and things like that some states have, but to say there is no public health interest just isnt being completely fair to the issues, as there are a lot of things involved in it.
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msteelers
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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2008, 11:42:43 AM »

Quote from: Ironrod on August 21, 2008, 10:26:30 PM

Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about banning smoking in the workplace? Should we let bar and restaurant owners set their own individual smoking policy, and let the marketplace sort them out, or is there an overriding public health interest? Is sick leave policy also being sold as a public health matter, or is it on a par with the 40-hour week and minimum wage?

I'm completely against banning smoking in bars and restaurants actually. As for the workplace, I haven't really thought about it. If the company is the one that creates the ban on smoking, I would be probably be ok with it, although I imagine some of their employees would be pissed.
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Ironrod
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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2008, 04:01:14 PM »

Quote from: brettmcd on August 22, 2008, 07:44:17 AM

Quote from: Moliere on August 22, 2008, 05:18:27 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on August 21, 2008, 10:26:30 PM

Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about banning smoking in the workplace? Should we let bar and restaurant owners set their own individual smoking policy, and let the marketplace sort them out, or is there an overriding public health interest?

Last time I checked bars and restaurants are private property. Nobody is forced to be there. Customers choose to enter the establishment knowing there is smoking. Individuals choose to work there knowing there is smoking. As long as cigarettes remain a legal drug then its up to the private property owner to establish the smoking policy. If the owner can't find decent help because no one wants to work in a smoking environment then he will go out of business. If the owner can't attract customers that are willing or want to purchase his goods and services in a smoking environment then he will go out of business. If every place has smoking then there is an opportunity for an entrepreneur to open a nonsmoking facility and create their own niche service. There is no public heath interest involved here.

I would have to at least somewhat disagree with you here, im one of the biggest advocates of the government keeping its nose out of things, but a case can be be made for the state government regulating safe working conditions for employees.   The arguement that the employees choose to work there could be used to excuse any number of totally unsafe working conditions.    I am not a big fan of the smoking bans and things like that some states have, but to say there is no public health interest just isnt being completely fair to the issues, as there are a lot of things involved in it.

How do you square that with your opposition to mandatory paid sick time -- arguably another public health measure, if it keeps sick workers from spreading disease in the workplace?
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Ironrod
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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2008, 04:05:42 PM »

Quote from: Moliere on August 22, 2008, 05:18:27 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on August 21, 2008, 10:26:30 PM

Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about banning smoking in the workplace? Should we let bar and restaurant owners set their own individual smoking policy, and let the marketplace sort them out, or is there an overriding public health interest?

Last time I checked bars and restaurants are private property. Nobody is forced to be there. Customers choose to enter the establishment knowing there is smoking. Individuals choose to work there knowing there is smoking. As long as cigarettes remain a legal drug then its up to the private property owner to establish the smoking policy. If the owner can't find decent help because no one wants to work in a smoking environment then he will go out of business. If the owner can't attract customers that are willing or want to purchase his goods and services in a smoking environment then he will go out of business. If every place has smoking then there is an opportunity for an entrepreneur to open a nonsmoking facility and create their own niche service. There is no public heath interest involved here.

That happens to be my opinion, too. While there are legitimate public health concerns about smoking in the workplace, the anti-smoking movement became a moral crusade quite some time ago. If you want to ban smoking entirely, then make it illegal. And watch the black market that springs up after THAT one!  nod
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Pyperkub
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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2008, 04:30:33 PM »

Quote from: Moliere on August 22, 2008, 05:18:27 AM

Last time I checked bars and restaurants are private property. Nobody is forced to be there. Customers choose to enter the establishment knowing there is smoking. Individuals choose to work there knowing there is smoking. As long as cigarettes remain a legal drug then its up to the private property owner to establish the smoking policy. If the owner can't find decent help because no one wants to work in a smoking environment then he will go out of business. If the owner can't attract customers that are willing or want to purchase his goods and services in a smoking environment then he will go out of business. If every place has smoking then there is an opportunity for an entrepreneur to open a nonsmoking facility and create their own niche service. There is no public heath interest involved here.

Bullshit.  Most restaurants and bars don't provide healthcare benefits either - as such, the state usually ends up picking up the tab for the health care for employees who have been sickened by the smoke, etc.  There is definitely a public (health) interest here, as it is the public who picks up the tab.
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Moliere
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« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2008, 05:04:56 PM »

Quote from: Pyperkub on August 22, 2008, 04:30:33 PM

Bullshit.  Most restaurants and bars don't provide healthcare benefits either - as such, the state usually ends up picking up the tab for the health care for employees who have been sickened by the smoke, etc.  There is definitely a public (health) interest here, as it is the public who picks up the tab.
And as a libertarian I think the public should stop picking up the tab for everyone's healthcare. Its because of this public funding of healthcare that the government can justify so much intrusion into our lives, telling us what we can eat, when we can eat it, how much to exercise, what drugs we can ingest. At what point do I become a free human being left to live and die by the daily choices I make it my life? Apparently I'm never allowed that responsibility and its insulting.
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« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2008, 05:48:13 PM »

Quote from: Moliere on August 22, 2008, 05:04:56 PM

Quote from: Pyperkub on August 22, 2008, 04:30:33 PM

Bullshit.  Most restaurants and bars don't provide healthcare benefits either - as such, the state usually ends up picking up the tab for the health care for employees who have been sickened by the smoke, etc.  There is definitely a public (health) interest here, as it is the public who picks up the tab.
And as a libertarian I think the public should stop picking up the tab for everyone's healthcare. Its because of this public funding of healthcare that the government can justify so much intrusion into our lives, telling us what we can eat, when we can eat it, how much to exercise, what drugs we can ingest. At what point do I become a free human being left to live and die by the daily choices I make it my life? Apparently I'm never allowed that responsibility and its insulting.

I actually agree with the libertarian view on a lot of this, but it also doesn't reflect the world we actually live in.

By this perspective, the point you become a free human being is when your actions don't negatively impact other human beings.  And there are so many people in this world, that isn't always possible.

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« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2008, 06:06:29 PM »

Quote from: Pyperkub on August 22, 2008, 05:48:13 PM

I actually agree with the libertarian view on a lot of this, but it also doesn't reflect the world we actually live in.

No doubt. I forgot to preface my statement with the usual "in my libertarian fantasy world". I have no illusions about ever being left alone to live my life without undue government intrusion. Space really is the only answer. Until we have the ability to escape the planet and create truly autonomous communities we're stuck with this one.
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msteelers
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« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2008, 07:06:53 PM »

Quote from: Moliere on August 22, 2008, 05:04:56 PM

Quote from: Pyperkub on August 22, 2008, 04:30:33 PM

Bullshit.  Most restaurants and bars don't provide healthcare benefits either - as such, the state usually ends up picking up the tab for the health care for employees who have been sickened by the smoke, etc.  There is definitely a public (health) interest here, as it is the public who picks up the tab.
And as a libertarian I think the public should stop picking up the tab for everyone's healthcare. Its because of this public funding of healthcare that the government can justify so much intrusion into our lives, telling us what we can eat, when we can eat it, how much to exercise, what drugs we can ingest. At what point do I become a free human being left to live and die by the daily choices I make it my life? Apparently I'm never allowed that responsibility and its insulting.

Uh. Last I checked I could still swing by Taco Bell on the way home from work, go home, sit on the couch, have a pizza delivered to me, and do whatever else I wanted.
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Moliere
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« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2008, 07:24:22 PM »

Quote from: msteelers on August 22, 2008, 07:06:53 PM

Uh. Last I checked I could still swing by Taco Bell on the way home from work, go home, sit on the couch, have a pizza delivered to me, and do whatever else I wanted.

Really? Whatever else you wanted? There are no restrictions on your movement and actions? Even on things that cause no harm to others, but might be considered harmful to yourself or "immoral"? Total freedom, eh? Hear that knocking? Its the cops wanting to chat to you about your excess freedom.
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