David Blaine’s Friday Musing…

The productivity of the American workforce has declined significantly since 2007.  California’s legislative response has been brilliant.  Not.  If you want to improve the economy, give people more reasons to stay home?  Theoretically (and in actual practice) an employee utilizing all potential protected leaves of absence can be gone from work for a couple of years.  Individually the leaves seem reasonable, but taken together they make it very difficult on employers to maintain a productive workforce.  Below are some of the California leaves, the number of employees a company must have to be covered, and the amount of time off:

Pregnancy Disability Leave  (5 employees)/4 months per pregnancy

CA Family Rights Act (50 employees)/12 weeks per year

Baby Bonding (20 employees)/12 weeks

Organ Donor (15 employees)/30 days per year (paid by employer)

School Activities: (25 employees)/40 hours per year

Victims of Crime: (all employers)/12 weeks

Victims of Sexual Assault (25 employees)/12 weeks

Volunteer Civil Service (50 employees)/14 days per year

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer (15 employees)/10 days per year

Jury Duty (all employers)/Unlimited

Alcohol/Drug Abuse Leave/“Reasonable” leave

School Suspension Leave (all employers)/Undefined

Americans with Disabilities Act (15 employees)/“Reasonable” leave (courts have regularly found 6 months to be reasonable

Fair Employment & Housing (5 employees)/“Reasonable” leave (courts have regularly found 6  months to be reasonable

Worker’s Compensation Leave/Unlimited (1-2 years is not unusual)

Sick Leave (all employers)/3 days per year

In addition, employers regularly offer the following discretionary time off:

Holidays/5-10 days per year

Bereavement/3-5 days per year

Vacation/ 40-80 hours per year

Maybe the legislature should simply mandate how many days employees actually have to work. Productivity might increase.