Move to offer paid sick leave for Tacoma small business employees

Move to offer paid sick leave for Tacoma small business employees

Credit: KING 5

A group of Tacoma organizations, unions and business owners want the City of Tacoma to require small businesses to offer employees sick leave, a measure Seattle has already enacted. Positive Approach, Inc., began offering sick leave to its employees in August 2012.

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on May 30, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Updated Friday, May 31 at 8:20 AM

TACOMA, Wash. -- Following Seattle’s lead, there's a move to get the city of Tacoma to require paid sick leave for all small business employees.

A group of more than 30 community organizations, unions and business owners calling themselves "Healthy Tacoma" want city council members to make paid leave mandatory.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber plans on fighting the proposal if it goes before the council.

“Businesses have just been beaten up in this economy,” said Chamber president and CEO Tom Pierson.

Pierson said chamber members told him requiring paid leave could lead to layoffs.

The co-owners of Positive Approach, Inc., a Tacoma dog daycare and kennel, chose to offer paid sick time to its fulltime employees beginning last August.

“If we treat them like they’re valuable, they’ll do the same for us,” said Di Inman, co-owner of Positive Approach.

Inman said she and her co-owner took a salary decrease to pay for the leave, but that they expect the move to help the business in the long term.

She said happy employees are more productive and are likely to stick around longer.

“What we’ve discovered is the greatest expense is worker turnover, or horrible worker morale,” said Inman.

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