Nancy Munro of the Associated General Contractors of Washington has an op-ed in Crosscut today on Initiative 1433. Its focus is on the initiative’s paid sick leave provisions, and it illustrates how a specific mandated benefit may not be universally desirable.
It has been the historic practice in construction to not include sick leave as a paid time off benefit. In recognition of the fact that field work is intermittent, commercial construction employers and labor have for decades agreed on high hour wages, high benefits in lieu of paid sick leave. Unions have never bargained to secure paid sick leave.
Similarly, in our report on I-1433, we write of the paid sick leave requirement,
By mandating this one specific benefit, the initiative ignores the possibility that employees might prefer higher wages or other types of benefits (like retirement, flexibility, or scholarships) to paid sick leave. The paid sick leave mandate could result in the cancellation of some of those nonmandated benefits.