Wisconsin state senator Alberta Darling has proposed a new bill that will provide up to six weeks of unpaid time off for employees who are donating an organ. This would apply to companies of 50 or more employees.
This sure sounds like a great idea, but we’ve got to look at how this affects business owners. Darling makes no suggestion as to how the employer is expected to stay afloat during the employee’s time off. We have similar measures like maternity leave, family leave, and military leave, and employers are managing. But it’s got to stop somewhere. We can’t keep piling these burdens on our businesses.
I’ve been donating blood for decades, and I’ve been on the marrow donor list for many years. If I were a match for someone to donate marrow or an organ, and it required me to take a couple of months off work, I would certainly not expect my employer to wait for me. I’d still donate in a heartbeat and just look for a new job if I had to.
So, I just can’t help but wonder why we need to make this a law. Without this proposed legislation, employers are still allowed to do it. In other words, there is no law banning such a program. Many employers (including mine) even have programs where employees can donate vacation time to a pool which is then made available for coworkers to use. So there’s nothing stopping employers from having such a program if their business can handle it.
But many businesses (even those with 50+ employees) just aren’t able to sustain such an absence, especially when they’re already providing such a benefit to employees for similar programs like those I’ve mentioned. On the surface, it sounds like a great idea, but we can’t keep piling these responsibilities on the backs of business owners.