Gahanna City Council member David Samuel introduced a resolution opposing state Issue 4, the Healthy Families Act, at Monday's council finance committee meeting.

Gahanna City Council member David Samuel introduced a resolution opposing state Issue 4, the Healthy Families Act, at Monday's council finance committee meeting.

The issue would require employers to provide full- and part-time employees with mandatory paid sick leave. The measure requires seven paid days per year for all full-time employees (30 hours per week or more) and pro-rated for part-time employees.

"Employers of 25 or more employees would be mandated to add mandated paid sick leave," Samuel said.

The state of Ohio already has a 6 percent unemployment rate, he said. The mandated paid sick leave could be the difference in a business choosing to locate in Ohio or some other state and existing employers to stay put or move out of the state, Samuel said.

He said he believes the issue would also lead to a loss of productivity for employers.

"The price tag is enormous," Samuel said. "Inflexible regulations stifle job creation, business expansion and make employers less competitive in a global economy. We are still reeling from the minimum wage hike and smoking ban."

Passage of the issue would also lead to additional hours of record-keeping, Samuel said. He said Gahanna would have to prorate any employees who work part time. The paperwork would be a nightmare for revolving part-time employees. Employees earn sick leave after 90 days.

Samuel said Gov. Ted Strickland and Lieutenant Gov. Lee Fisher also oppose the issue.

Human resources director Kristen Treadway forwarded an article to Gahanna council members from an Indiana newspaper encouraging Ohio to pass the law so they will gain when businesses leave Ohio.

The measure is one more restriction on businesses, she said, predicting businesses will reduce benefits before the measure goes on the ballot. Some businesses may change paid time off to include seven sick days and three days of vacation, Treadway said.

"From every aspect this is a pain and a problem," Treadway said. "Personally I think it is wrong for the state of Ohio to look at. For us it is a paperwork nightmare."

Gahanna has many seasonal employees and park employees who work part-time.

Council member Beryl Anderson asked what was positive about the legislation. Samuel said the state issue is a move by union groups and nothing more. Treadway said all but one union has backed off of the legislation.

The issue could also interfere with policies that require a doctor's note after a certain number of sick days, Treadway said.

Council member Nancy McGregor said employees would be required to get a doctor's excuse after three sick days. She said sick leave could be taken in the same increments an employee is paid in, also increasing paperwork.

tstubbs@thisweeknews.com