Not everyone is convinced that the laws passed in Hartford have a direct effect on Connecticut businesses, that is, until it hits close to home. Westmark Corporation, a Sterling-based fabric conversion company that employs twelve highly skilled individuals, faces an uncertain future in the state following the passage of the new paid family and medical leave program, which relies on a statewide payroll tax on all private sector workers. Entrepreneurs like Norman Baker and his …son Michael of Westmark now find themselves in a difficult situation. I had the pleasure of touring their company today where I learned more about their business and listened to their concerns about our state’s current direction.
It is difficult for business owners like the Bakers to hire temporary workers while their employees are out on paid leave, which could be up to 12 weeks under the new plan. This would involve costs to train and pay the temporary hires, only to lay them off once their full time members return. The financial pressure this anti-business legislation places on job creators will factor into their future plans.
My goal is to keep good employers like Westmark in Connecticut, and to attract more companies to our region. Unfortunately, our state’s current course will not get us there. We need to be more mindful about the policies we form in the legislature. As your state representative, I did not support the Democrats’ paid family and medical leave plan because I knew it was a job killer, but I do support the great people of the 45th District, especially the ones who take on considerable risk to employ their fellow residents.