Amidst nationwide efforts to dismantle workplace standards, new poll results released for Labor Day by the National Partnership for Women & Families reveal that voters in Connecticut, the first state to pass a paid sick days law, overwhelmingly support the law and are poised to reward legislators who voted for it.
The Labor Day poll was conducted by Hart Research Associates a few weeks after Governor Malloy signed Connecticut’s paid sick days bill. It found that 73 percent of registered voters in Connecticut support the new law, including 61 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of independents and 87 percent of Democrats. Support is particularly strong among women; 83 percent said they favor the legislation, compared to 63 percent of men.
Across the county, opponents of establishing a paid sick days standard argue that it will hurt businesses at a critical time. But the new poll results show that, in Connecticut, concerns about the economy and long-term, aggressive opposition from the state’s business lobby seem to have had little impact. Even when presented with arguments about it being the wrong time to place “an unnecessary burden” on businesses, 71 percent of Connecticut voters disagreed, agreeing instead that it is more important than ever to enact common sense policies like paid sick days to protect workers and their families in tough times.
Of note for lawmakers across the country, the poll also shows that Connecticut voters’ support for the new law significantly affected their opinions of their legislators. Voters whose elected officials voted for the law said it made them more favorable toward those officials in the next election by 32 points in the Senate and 41 points in the House of Representatives. Voters whose elected officials voted against the law said they were less favorable toward those officials by 32 points in the Senate and 31 points in the House.
“Connecticut lawmakers showed historic leadership for working families when they passed America’s first statewide paid sick days law, and this poll shows that voters are more likely to support them because they did,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “We are seeing attacks on workers’ rights across the nation, and legislators’ approval ratings are low. Lawmakers at all levels should take a lesson from Connecticut and support paid sick days and other family friendly measures. It’s what voters want and what working families need.”
The poll was conducted through a phone survey of 500 registered voters in the state from July 26to July 28, 2011. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
The topline results can be found here: www.nationalpartnership.org/CTsurvey
The Hart Research Associates memo summarizing the findings can be found here: www.nationalpartnership.org/CTmemo