With no one looking, state lawmakers just passed another new tax

State lawmakers proved it again last month: Watch them closely or they’ll get you good. That’s what they did when they passed a new bereavement-leave bill at the 11th hour as the legislative session ended.

The bill would force employers to offer workers 10 — yes, 10 — weeks of time off with pay whenever a family member dies. That may sound nice, but the cost would be paid by the worker himself, via a 0.126 percent payroll deduction. Via a new tax, that is.

Sure, the loss of a loved one can be traumatic. Needing to take time from work is understandable. And note: The bill was sponsored by two Rochester-area legislators who, tragically, lost children.

Yet that’s no reason to hit New Yorkers with a new fee and businesses with new complications. Or to do it when no one is looking, without any debate whatsoever.

As the Business Council points out, the measure would “allow bereavement leave to be taken at any time after the death of a family member, seemingly with no restrictions.” That will make it hard for businesses to plan staffing.

And it would come right on the heels of the Paid Family Leave act. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to see how that mandate works out before imposing another one on businesses and workers?

Fact is, most employers in the state already offer four days off following the death of a relative, according to a 2018 survey. But that should be a matter between bosses and workers.

Now the bill goes to Gov. Cuomo. He should nix it — and give New Yorkers a break.

Source: Read Full Article