Healthy Families Act: The Democrats' Ill-Guided Government Initiative

Mandatory Sick Days, Healthy Families ActThe Healthy Families Act (HFA), HR 2460, which requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide at least seven days of paid sick leave per year, is being advertised by the government with claims that the bill will “allow Americans to earn paid sick time so that they can address their own health needs and the health needs of their families.” Sure, this sounds agreeable to anyone that reads it, but many are not aware that this pending bill is an ill-guided government initiative that will nonetheless wreak havoc on American businesses, employees, and customers.

In a Heritage Foundation article, James Sherk explains why this bill is not a good idea:


  • "The vast majority (86 percent) of full-time workers are already provided paid leave, which they can use should they fall ill.
  • The Healthy Families Act will not increase workers' total compensation. Companies respond to mandated benefits by reducing cash wages by approximately the cost of providing the benefit. Companies will spend more on leave benefits and less on wages and will require workers to take less of their compensation as cash wages and more as time off, whether they want to or not.
  • Abuse of the leave granted by HFA will have a detrimental effect on productivity, thereby increasing the cost of business while decreasing incentive for capital investment. This will also be consequential to co-workers that will have to pick up others' slack as well as customers that will have to pay more for services from the struggling businesses.
  • Congress-mandated benefits have many of the same labor market effects as raising taxes on workers, which will be especially hindering during our steep economic downturn."


HR 2460 is currently in the first steps of the legislative process. Given that businesses are struggling to stay afloat in this economy, is this really the right legislation to be pushing right now? This pending bill, if passed, will also evoke a great disincentive for small businesses with fewer than 15 employees to grow as well as create a burden on businesses with 15 or more employees.

What happened to the “American Dream?”


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