NYC Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance, Testimony by Jon Cooper, Spectronics Corporation

My name is Jon Cooper, and I am the President of Spectronics Corporation in Suffolk County.

I’m no Bill Gates, but I know how to run my business. I’ve been doing it for nearly 30 years here on Long Island, and I’m not planning on going anywhere anytime soon. I’m committed to my customers, my employees, and my community. As a business owner, I support paid family leave legislation.

For me, it’s a no-brainer to support this legislation.

Makng it possible for workers to take time off when they absolutely must will reduce unplanned absenteeism.

We’ll face less of the problem known as “presenteeism,” where workers come to their workplace but work with reduced productivity because of distractions and other demands on their time.

And turnover costs will decrease, because fewer employees will be forced to leave their jobs when they face a change in family circumstances.

Also, this bill would create a level playing field among businesses so that all employers would have the same obligations to provide a minimum standard of benefits, meaning that no business would be placed at a competitive disadvantage. And for locally owned businesses like mine, passing this bill would help us to provide a benefit that might be very difficult to do on our own.

Plus – and this is critical for concerned business owners – this legislation would add no new costs to employers.

Even so, this isn’t just about the bottom-line for me. It’s also the right thing to do to support this sort of common-sense reform. Paid family leave benefits should be security for all of those working families who are currently struggling to make ends meet. I believe in a society where working families – both employers and employees alike – take care of each other. Parents should have the ability to take care of their children, and, if the frailties of old age take over, adult children should be able to care for their own parents, too.

I’ve been in business a long time, and times have changed. Here on Long Island, every year we have more and more families in which both parents are working full-time. A one-income household is just a luxury that most families cannot afford. So when a young couple decides to start a family, we need to help them balance their new responsibilities by supporting them at home. When an elderly relative is ailing, we need to help working adults spend a little bit of much-need time off of work so that they can care for Mom or Dad. The realities of the 21st-century economy are very different than those we faced in the past, and we need to adapt our policies to fit the changing times. Supporting working families with paid family leave is just the right thing to do.

I think New York needs to take the lead – along with states like California and Washington that already have some form of family leave insurance – and make a strong statement that our families and our economy will only thrive when we balance the workplace and the home, in order to do right by both.

I urge our state legislators to enact paid family leave legisaltion this session.

Source: Time to Care NY