By Assunta Ng
Northwest Asian Weekly
Approved by the city council, the five-day sick leave came down on my head like a ton of bricks. Small businesses like mine cannot afford to pay anything additional in this sluggish economic climate.
When I saw Seattle Councilmember Bruce Harrell in Chinatown last Friday, I grumbled about the new law.
“Do you give your employees paid vacations?” he asked.
Yes, I said.
Harrell said I can use those as part of the mandatory five-day leave.
I have bent over backwards to give autonomy to my employees in the last four years. One staff member requested not to come in on Thursdays and Fridays because she has to care for her 85-year-old mother. Two come in only one or two days a week due to childcare duties. Another works four days in the office. All of them get full-time pay.
I allow my employees flexible hours because gas prices are high and traffic is bad. And if they find it relaxing and efficient to work at home, I am fine with it.
The good ol’ days with ringing phones and lots of office walk-ins are gone. People used to come in for advertising, buying the Seattle Chinese Post, and translation work.
Today, readers just walk in to buy the Chinese Post on Fridays. Fewer clients drop by for business purposes. At times, the emptiness and quietness of our office is too much for me to bear. Luckily, we organize many events, and most of them are held on Fridays. I have also discovered freedom to do things on Fridays, a freedom I never felt before. I guess this is part of reinventing my business, and a part of my personal journey! (end)