Molly Moon’s leads the way in offering paid sick days to employees

City Council member  Nick Licata’s plan to require Seattle businesses to provide paid sick days to employees is already being put into motion by one Capitol Hill entrepreneur.

Molly Moon’s announced via Facebook on Friday that it would begin offering paid leave to its Seattle employees:

Earlier this week, Publicola posted this portion of a letter sent to the Seattle City Council by small business owners including Molly Moon Neitzel to support Licata’s proposal:

We believe that providing paid sick days is the responsible thing to do to support employees and help prevent the spread of disease. Ensuring people can earn paid sick days encourages workers to stay home when they’re contagious, and is especially important for workers who handle food, provide health care, or have close contact with the public.

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21 thoughts on “Molly Moon’s leads the way in offering paid sick days to employees

  1. There are many reasons I want to support your business Molly Moon! This being one of them! But can you please offer something I can eat – dairy free ice cream? I’m sure you’re not hurting for business, but this would bring myself, my partner, and our son in at least once/week in the summer. I know that others in the community would appreciate this as well!

  2. I realize that in this day and age, there are many food companies who do NOT offer this basic benefit to their employees, which is a disservice to their staff, as well as their customers. That being said, to report that Molly Moon’s is the leading the way is insulting to the multitudes of other local food companies who have been doing so, with little fanfare, since before an ice cream shop was even a glimmer in Molly’s eye.

  3. 78% of food service businesses do not provide paid sick days to their employees. This is leadership. Social responsibility in business is the real deal at Molly Moon’s!

  4. ….would be paid health care. I wonder if the ice cream shop is providing that for their employees for when they are sick??

  5. Hey there. I work for a business that’s been on The Hill for almost 18 years. We have been offering paid sick time, vacation time, and affordable health insurance since day one. Congrats to Molly Moon’s for catching up to the rest of the great business doing right by their staff. I have to agree with Meghan though – this is not news.

  6. Yeah, that’s just peachy. If all of us small biz owners were making as much dough as Molly Moon it’d be all good. Highest minimum wage and now this? In an ideal world, all this makes sense. The reality is that the margins are just too tight and this will discourage new businesses from opening.

  7. Yea it must really suck to have to pay your workers $8.67/hour AND let them earn a few sick days while they work at your establishment. I can’t imagine what a degrading experience that must be for you as a business owner, because I’m sure your employees are really living it up on $1500/month in Seattle.

  8. Molly Moon’s does provide paid healthcare benefits to its employees. Yet another reason to support this Seattle business.

  9. Molly Moon’s always has two dairy free options on the menu. You should stop by one of the shops and give them a taste.

  10. So small business owners have a right to make a decent living but their employees don’t? Don’t blame your crappy business model on your employees, if you can’t figure out how to sell or provide a service that is profitable that’s your fault and your fault alone. Maybe you should go out of business and try something else, or get a job at Molly Moon’s.

  11. Dick’s has been doing this for decades. eventually a business reaches a point where they can afford it. It just happened to be Molly’s time. No real news here

  12. It’s obviously in the business interest of food establishments, such as Molly Moon’s, to offer this benefit, because it is part of their promo/marketing plans.

    But this benefit is a dilemma of sorts for many small businesses, because it is expensive, and also because “sick leave” is widely abused by employees, who think of it as “just another vacation day” that is their right to use, whether sick or not.

    From a public health point of view, it’s not that helpful, because people with viral infections are most contagious 1-2 days before they begin to have symptoms.

  13. yeah, cuz no one’s ever heard of Dick’s (…?)

    Yes, I can agree that Molly Moon’s is (among other businesses) setting a good example for newer businesses, especially those in food service, to make a similar change, but the headline ‘leads the way’ is a bit inaccurate, no?

  14. Meanwhile, small to mid sized local entrepreneur-founded Top Pot Donuts is PULLING benefits from employees, including sick/pto time and cutting wages and shifts.

    Let’s be honest, this economy is full of SUCK.

  15. It does NOT get abused, and the reallife examples, not surveys or research, bear it out. Read the links. On average in SF where this is already law, people take 3 days.
    Presuming sicktime “abuse” is an Ebenezery nay-saying tactic and it’s full of BS. The same misers cried foul about the FMLA when it was signed into law and yet hardly anyone uses that time-off right.

    And screw public health: sick time is not just for protecting YOU and your fear of some virus, it’s also somewhat for workers’ families and making sure the worker can come in well-rested and not stressed (and then make mistakes, or get injured, or go postal).

  16. You’re living in some kind of polyanna-world if you don’t think that fraudulent use of sick leave is fairly common.

  17. Even this very successful business, which has high margins and a small staff compared to many other small businesses Molly wants to mandate benefits for (like restaurants), could not afford to offer benefits like paid sick days until it had multiple stores open, a mobile truck, and huge profits paid out to Molly and her investors. But when the business was new, it didn’t have the added cost of mandatory benefits, so Molly was able to reinvest, take profits, and expand. Not having mandated benefits put her business in a position to then offer all sorts of benefits when it was ready and able to. But again, she wasn’t forced to offer them now, or when developing.

    But now she does offer them. Which is great. But almost every small business I know of in Seattle offers many different benefits, many offer much more than Molly does. Why isn’t Molly Moons offering education benefits like Dick’s does? Why doesn’t she offer Paid Time Off? Employee Meals?

    Unfortunately, now Molly wants to mandate a benefit for new small businesses she didn’t have to pay for when she was developing her business. That’s an interesting position, and a great way to keep her competition from developing as quickly as she did.

    And let’s hear what she’s actually offering – is she offering the 9 paid sick days per year per employee that Licata’s proposal offers? And how soon after hire do they start and how do they accrue? And what does she pay her employees? Is it minimum wage or is it higher like many of the restaurants she wants to mandate benefits for pay? And what of her other benefits? Does she cover all health insurance benefits, or require her minimum wage employees to pay for 30% of them? Anything else?

    The important point here is that while sick days can be an important benefit, they aren’t the only one. Employee compensation includes wages, and all sorts of other benefits. Molly is choosing one benefit, but she’s able to choose it over many other potential benefits, including increased wages. And that’s the way it should be. Mandating this one benefit over others wasn’t good for Molly Moon’s when it opened, and it shouldn’t be mandated for everyone else now.

  18. In the restaurant business in Seattle, hungover employees calling in sick is already a common problem. Now restaurant owners will have to pay them when they don’t show up, and can’t fire them for abusing the benefit.

  19. This is a crazy idea brought to you by the people who brought us the Latte Tax. It’s a short sited, patchwork solution looking for a problem. Really just an easy political win for people who work (or want to) in politics and need something to keep them employed and relevant.

    These people will also soon be pushing a proposal mandating pensions, a higher minimum wage (they’d like it to be much higher), and high priced mandatory health insurance for the small businesses not required to pay for it under the Obama plan. They also opposed Liquor Privatization. (not all evil things to me btw, but knowledge is power).

    A couple of interesting people working on this proposal:

    Former and much vilified deputy mayor Tim Ceis via his company CBE Strategic is making all sorts of money from Labor Unions to lobby on this ordinance.

    Failed State House candidate and main man behind the Latte Tax John Burbank and his company EOI.

  20. good points -especially about how you might offer one thing but cut another (loss leader theory, in a sense). though you presume her investors wouldn’t have ponied-up at the beginning if this law had been discussed publicly -then (I see no reason why they wouldn’t have gone for it then – good PR and buzz is their whole thing, no?). The key being: she has a large team of INVESTORS, which a number of food biz’s don’t. If anything’s an advantage for Molly Moons, it’s that.
    Her ‘competition’ (comfortfoodish sweet treats) in this town are doing just fine, btw (full tilt ice cream, High five pie, cupcake royale, top pot, trophy, mightyO, old school custard, peaks, bottega, et al). It isn’t as if , if this ‘sicktime law’ passes, that ALL of these businesses won’t have to apply the law equally.

    So, again, I wonder on an economics basis -if we presume for a moment that the doomsaying is accurate- why US businesses didn’t close down in droves / new business numbers did not go down when the Family Medical Leave Act was made law… this law also forces businesses to grant time off, even time-off with no notice(not just pregnancy), it allows employees to take leave not only for themselves but for immediate family (sibs, parents, kids) as well, AND it guarantees the employee’s job is waiting for them when they return, even if they’re gone for 12 weeks (3 months!). A significant inconvenience for business operations, to be sure.
    But all businesses (of a similar size) share the FMLA ‘burden’ as a law that applies to all – so, likewise, there’s no “unfair advantage” I can see to making this sicktime proposal a law.