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New York Small Businesses Support Publicly Administered Family and Medical Leave Insurance Pools

Publisher: 
Small Business Majority
Date: 
Monday, 16 December, 2013

Small business owners in the Empire State have been working tirelessly to pull the state’s economy back from the brink of the Great Recession. The long hours and commitment they put into their businesses are rivaled only by their employees, whose hard work is crucial to the success of the business. That’s why New York small business owners feel it makes good business sense to take care of their employees, as it’s crucial they retain a loyal, talented workforce. It’s not surprising then that scientific opinion polling found small business owners statewide support the creation of publicly administered family medical leave insurance pools. 

These programs provide employees with a portion of their wages for a limited number of weeks when the employee has a serious illness, has a new baby to care for or needs to take care of a seriously ill family member. A majority of New York small businesses support a proposal to set up publicly administered family and medical leave insurance pools where the insurance premiums are paid with payroll contributions shared by employees and employers— each contributing just one-fifth of 1% of an employee’s wages.

Main Findings

Majority of New York small businesses support publicly administered family and medical leave insurance pools paid with payroll contributions by employees and employers: 59% of New York small business owners support creating publicly administered family and medical leave insurance pools funded by contributions shared by employees and employers—with each contributing just one-fifth of 1% of an employee’s wages. Only 23% oppose this.

Majority of small businesses support insurance pools paid with contributions shared by employees and employers

There are proposals to set up publicly administered family and medical leave insurance pools at the state or national levels. These insurance programs would provide employees with a portion of their wages for a limited number of weeks when the employee has a serious illness, has a new baby to care for, or needs to care for a seriously ill family member. The insurance premiums would be paid with payroll contributions shared by employees and employers— each contributing just one-fifth of 1% of an employee’s wages. Would you support or oppose such an insurance system, funded equally by employees and employers, or are you not sure?

Vast majority of New York small business owners support the federal Family and Medical Leave Act: 86% of surveyed entrepreneurs support the Family and Medical Leave Act, signed into law 20 years ago, which allows eligible employees of covered employers to take a limited amount of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons like a serious personal illness, the birth or adoption of a child or to care for a seriously ill family member.

By a 6:1 ratio, entrepreneurs favor Family Medical Leave Act

As you may know, the 20-year anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act is coming up. Under the Act, eligible employees of covered employers can take a limited amount of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons like a serious personal illness, the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a seriously ill family member, or for qualifying reasons arising out of a family member being an active member of the military. Would you say you generally FAVOR or OPPOSE the Family and Medical Leave Act?

New York small business owners strongly support expanding the state disability insurance program to provide paid leave for a new baby or ill family member: The vast majority (83%) of New York small business owners favor expanding the state’s disability insurance program to provide paid leave to care for a new baby or seriously ill family member, if the insurance premiums are paid through modest payroll contributions by employees (less than $1 a week per employee). Forty-seven percent of the respondents said they strongly favor expanding the program.

Vast majority of small businesses favor expanding the state’s disability insurance program to provide paid leave to care for a new baby or seriously ill family member

Employees in New York State are currently covered by state disability insurance that replaces some lost wages when someone is temporarily out of work because of a disability. Would you favor or oppose expanding this system to provide paid leave to care for a new baby or seriously ill family member, if the insurance premiums are paid through modest payroll contributions by employees—less than 1 dollar a week per employee?

Majority of respondents support expanding the state disability insurance to provide workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new baby or ill family member: A strong 72% of New York small businesses favor expanding the state’s disability insurance system to provide workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new baby or seriously ill family member if it is entirely funded by employee contributions of less than $1 per week.

Majority of small businesses favor expanding the state’s disability insurance program to provide workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new baby or seriously ill family member

Would you favor or oppose expanding the New York state disability insurance system to provide workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new baby or seriously ill family member if it is entirely funded by employee contributions of less than one dollar per week?

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State(s): 
NY