Advocates push for paid medical leave as poll shows favorability - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Advocates push for paid medical leave as poll shows favorability among small businesses

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BLS Research and Consulting, along with lawmakers, reveal the results of a poll that said 77 percent of small business owners support family medical leave. (WFSB) BLS Research and Consulting, along with lawmakers, reveal the results of a poll that said 77 percent of small business owners support family medical leave. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Those in support of paid family and medical leave continued their push to get it passed by lawmakers during a news conference on Wednesday in Hartford.

This as a new poll conducted by the BLS Research and Consulting firm and commissioned by the Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund. It showed that 77 percent of small business owners favor Connecticut's proposed program.

The firm, along with lawmakers and small business owners, held the news conference at the state capitol around 9:30 a.m.

According to the poll, 95 percent of Connecticut small business owners believe it's important to have time off to care for a new baby, a seriously ill family member or recover from a serious illness.

The numbers were in line with a national poll by the U.S. Council of State Chambers of Commerce.

"Small business owners tended to favor this legislation for a couple of simple reasons," said Dr. Brittany Stalsburg, BLS Research and Consulting. "First, they understand that policies like paid leave actually help businesses in the long run, because they improve retention, productivity, and job satisfaction among employees. Second, small business owners believe offering paid leave is the right thing to do, because no one should be forced to choose between their family and their paycheck."

The state Senate bill was introduced by Sen. Martin Looney and the House of Representatives bill was sponsored by 27 legislators.

"As a small business person, I welcome a paid family and medical leave system for Connecticut," said Mark Gillman, Cato Corner Farm, Colchester. "Knowing that my employees have a way to make family emergencies a little less stressful for themselves and their families will be beneficial for them and for me."

More than 40 Connecticut small businesses have signed on in support of the bills.

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