As if business owners didn’t already have enough rules, restrictions and guidelines governing our employees, AB 190, pushed and passed by the Democrats, imposes even more.
The recently enacted law is touted as a savior for employees needing to care for sick family members. However, it’s another burden, and example of government overreach by the legislature. I firmly believe in taking care of your employees, (whom in our case have become extended family). However, this new law imposes unnecessary (and ridiculous) burdens on small businesses that are the backbone of our economy.
Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty, shall we? AB 190 mandates that private employers in Nevada allow employees to use their accrued sick leave – be it paid or unpaid- to assist immediate family members in need. Sounds noble, right? But wait, here comes the catch! The definition of “immediate family” is broader than a six-lane highway, encompassing in-laws, stepparents, foster children, domestic partners, siblings, parents-in laws and grandchildren. You name it, they are in there. What’s next? The neighbor’s cousin’s best friend? Or my sweet cow, Molly, in Texas? The spirit is good, but where is the practicality?
Now, you may ask, “Lyle, isn’t it just a compassionate law helping the sick?” And, I say, perhaps it is, or perhaps it isn’t. Why should the state dictate my choice as an employer to be benevolent or not? Why should it infringe upon my right to assess whether an employee’s sick leave request is a genuine need or merely a flimsy excuse for inadequate job performance or an unreasonable demand that would incur significant costs for our company, far beyond the absence of that employee?
And, who bears the brunt of this law? Our resilient small business owners. Yes, the same people who already juggle the avalanche of taxes, regulations, and let’s not forget, the pandemics. Big corporations may have the resources, but what about Joe and Jane who run the corner convenience store or the local eatery? Not so much.
And what if employers don’t comply? They get slapped with misdemeanor charges and penalties. In essence, the state is ready to criminalize hardworking entrepreneurs for trying to keep their businesses afloat. Isn’t this the land of the free?
Take, for example, the generous leave policies many businesses already have in place. These policies often balance the needs of employees and the practicalities of running a business. AB 190, on the other hand, is a one-size-fits-all regulation that undermines the flexibility small businesses require to stay afloat.
Here’s a nugget for you – Nevada’s Democrats at the Legislature seem to have a love affair with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Federal law, and AB 190 is a bloated extension of it. However, FMLA usually applies to employers with 50 or more employees. AB 190? It covers ALL private employers. With this law, they’ve thrown the little guys into the lion’s den.
CALL TO ACTION: We need common sense to prevail. Our state should be bolstering the small businesses, not encumbering them with well-meaning but impractical laws. To the policymakers – I urge you to reconsider the breadth and the scope of AB 190. To the small business owners – make your voices heard. Share your stories, the challenges and the sacrifices you make. To the public – support local businesses, they are the ones bearing the burden of our Legislature’s grand ambitions.
Let’s not pave the road to destruction with good intentions.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”