I’m the owner of Goodbee & Associates, a woman-run engineering firm in Centennial. I started my engineering firm 20 years ago with the hope of creating a more family-friendly work environment. In the engineering consulting field, I have seen far too many women leave their demanding jobs because the majority of employers in this industry have yet to embrace workplace flexibility and family-friendly practices. I support family medical leave insurance because I firmly believe it will ultimately enable mothers, caregivers, and women (and men) who need paid time off to take care of personal medical issues without having to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for their families.
I have had employees with cancer and ailing parents and children, and I am proud to say that they have never had to choose between their careers and their health or their family’s needs. I believe family medical leave insurance because it will help ensure this is the norm and not the exception in small and large businesses alike.
What’s more, many small business owners feel as I do that paid family and medical leave isn’t just the right thing to do, but that it makes good business sense. Taking care of our employees is crucial to retaining a loyal, talented workforce. Many small business owners, myself included, think of their employees like family, so it’s no surprise they support these types of programs. Policies such as these enable us to foster a better workforce while protecting both our workers and our bottom line.
Another similarity between my business and many other small firms is that we have some type of family leave policy already in place. I have an informal policy in place that’s handled on a case-by-case basis with my employees. In all instances I pay the employee a portion of their salary while they’re out because it’s the right thing to do and it creates tremendous loyalty.
Small businesses understand the importance of policies like these because many are already dealing with or have dealt with such situations. I can say from experience that small businesses don’t see a loss in productivity when employees take this type of leave, either.
As small business owners, we understand how important it is for our employees who need to balance their work and family responsibilities to have reasonable options for doing so—options that also meet the needs of us, their employers. Small businesses’ support of family medical leave policies is proof of this.