For Immediate Release - September 24, 2013

Grossman Urges Legislature to Enact Earned Sick Time Bills

Calls Initiative a “Moral and Economic Imperative”

Pointing to the success enjoyed by the family business he led for 36 years, Treasurer Steven Grossman today called on the Legislature to follow his lead and approve bills that would expand earned sick time to more employees in the Commonwealth.  The Treasurer made his remarks in testimony before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development.

“I ran a successful small business for 36 years, and providing generous earned paid leave was a fundamental part of how we ran the company,” Grossman said.  “The company was built on the foundations of quality, value, service and professionalism.  Retaining experienced people who know how to deliver on those essentials is a key to success.  We want our colleagues to stay with us and contribute their expertise every day.”

Two bills before the legislature, H.1739 and S.900, would require companies with 10 or more workers to grant one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 56 hours.  To protect small businesses, the limit would be up to 40 hours for companies with six to ten workers, and companies with fewer than six employees would not be required to provide paid leave.

Grossman said, “seven years ago I was the first business owner in Massachusetts to testify in support of family leave, and I regret that it is still not the law of the Commonwealth.”  He said that, far too often, people are forced to choose between their health and a paycheck, and that compelling people to work when they or a family member are sick hurts business in the long run.

The Treasurer pointed to the case of Jimmy Lynch, a machinist who works at his family business, Grossman Marketing Group.  When Mr. Lynch was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2005, Grossman told him to concentrate on getting well and not to worry about his job.  He said, “we kept him on at full pay for more than six months while he recovered.  Then he returned to work, and he is still on the job today.”

As envisioned by the pending legislation, the leave would be available for illnesses and routine medical visits and would apply to the worker, spouse, children, and parents.  It could also be used to address the legal, medical, or psychological consequences of domestic violence.  Grossman has said in the past that, should he be elected Governor next year and earned sick time is still not law, it would the first bill he will file.