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Small-business owners say national paid sick leave wouldn’t hurt their bottom line

Small-business owners say national paid sick leave wouldn’t hurt their bottom line

Republican arguments against laws that guarantee paid leave for workers often hinge on the notion that the policy would damage small-business owners, the backbone of our society. But what happens if you ask the small-business owners what they want? A new survey comfortably debunks the myth: Almost two-thirds of small-business owners support a national policy for paid medical and family leave.

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“A super majority of small-business owners do support—have continued to support—a national paid-leave policy,” says Dawn Huckelbridge, director of Paid Leave for All, the nonprofit that conducted the survey. The results appear to conflict with the widely held public perception that small businesses may be opposed to the policy, which would require businesses to give paid days off to workers for things like illness, bereavement, or parental leave. For many reasons, Huckelbridge says, the reverse is true. She contends that a paid-leave policy can help small businesses stay competitive and sturdy their bottom lines. “It helps with productivity and performance and profitability,” she says. “It makes for a happier worker, and there’s less turnover.”

Paid Leave for All started in December by bringing together various groups that had been advocating for a national leave policy, to align their goals and resources. The organization partnered with Main Street Alliance, a network of small-business owners that aims to give that community a voice on public policy issues. The survey respondents consist of 600 owners of businesses with up to 49 employees; the poll also deliberately over-samples racial minorities, by including 100 Black business owners and 100 Latino, Asian American, or Pacific Islander owners. About half (48%) of the respondents say they do not currently provide any type of sick, family, or medical leave.

From a public health standpoint, the coronavirus crisis has reinforced the advantages of—and dire need for—policy

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OPEC+ Oil Boost to Leave Market in Precarious Balance, IEA Says

OPEC+ Oil Boost to Leave Market in Precarious Balance, IEA Says

(Bloomberg) — The outlook for oil “remains fragile” as the pandemic depresses demand, and OPEC’s plans to increase supply next year will leave global markets precariously balanced, the International Energy Agency said.

“There is a risk that the demand recovery is stalled by the recent increase in Covid-19 cases in many countries,” the IEA said in its monthly market report.

At the same time, markets are set to receive fresh supplies in January as OPEC and its partners relax some of the measures they’ve taken to prevent a glut. Once the taps are opened, “there is only limited headroom for the market to absorb” anything more, the Paris-based agency said.



text: A Precarious Balance


© Bloomberg
A Precarious Balance

The acceleration in virus infections is leading many in the market to question if the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies will increase supply from January. Producers inside the group are also having doubts, according to delegates. Still, United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said on Tuesday that, for now, OPEC+ plans to proceed with the supply boost as scheduled.

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Global oil demand remains on track for an unprecedented 8% slump this year because of the economic fallout from the virus. To offset the drop, and prop up prices, the OPEC+ alliance led by Saudi Arabia and Russia has made vast reductions in output.

Also see: Saudi Prince and Putin Urge OPEC+ Compliance as Oil Prices Sag

Their measures have “shown some success,” depleting the world’s swollen inventories in the third quarter at a rate of 900,000 barrels a day, the IEA said. Crude futures are hovering just above $40 a barrel in London.

Inventory Drop

Yet the declines in inventories will slow markedly in the first half of next year, the report showed.

Having phased out some of

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Paid family and medical leave insurance program

Paid family and medical leave insurance program

Proposition 118 would create a statewide paid family and medical leave program for workers who’ve earned at least $2,500. The program would allow workers to take up to 12 weeks of leave in most cases, and 16 weeks in the event of pregnancy or childbirth complications. Payments would come from a state-run insurance fund. In workplaces with 10 people or more, workers and employers would each contribute to the fund — at a rate of 0.9% of an employee’s wages — but employers in workplaces of nine or fewer people would be exempt from having to contribute to the premium. Companies with their own programs that meet criteria could opt out.

The case for: Paid family and medical leave would allow workers to stay at home longer with their newborns, care for loved ones in need, or simply prioritize their own health. Without paid leave, workers are often under pressure to return to work more quickly or not to take time off at all. Research has shown that paid leave programs expand employment opportunities and contribute positively to the state economy.

The case against: Workers would be forced to pay into a program that they may never need. That may be especially problematic in a recession, as many individuals and families are having a harder time covering their expenses. Many businesses are struggling, too, and Proposition 118 would add another cost during an uncertain time. Depending on how much the program generates, premium rates may be raised from 0.9% to 1.2%. And while the ballot measure allows certain businesses to opt out, doing so may be complicated and expensive.

Ballot question: “Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning the creation of a paid family and medical leave program in Colorado, and, in connection

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