The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Should Employees have Paid Leave?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/26/2016 Category: Economics
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 337 times Debate No: 90229
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




1st round acceptance and stating your claim, 2nd round arugments, 3rd round rebuttals. NO TROLLS.

My claim is that employees should have paid leave.


I accept this debate on the matter of employer paid leave for employees. My position is that employers have every right to provide paid leave, and that such action is wise when an employee is a hard and valuable worker. However, I think that a blanket approach to paid leave is inadvisable, and that employers should have the right to provide such at their own discretion, instead of labor laws dictating the requirements. I look forward to an intellectual and educational debate!
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you Con. I hope this will be a good debate.

Employees should have paid leave for the following reason:

1. To prevent death and/or injury. Some jobs are very strenuous. These jobs include:
  • Coal Miners
  • Logging
  • Potty Cleaners
  • etc.

Especially in autumn and spring, people can get sick with the cold, fever, or a slew of other horrible problems. These infections can reduce awareness, and reduced awareness can result in horrible injury , death, or even just extreme grossness.

Take the coal miner for example. Coal miners risk their lives every day to mine coal, just to make a living. If a coal miner is sick with fever, and goes to work because he doesn't have paid leave, he runs a significant risk of not noticing an unsteady giant boulder above him... and that could lead to loss if innocent life.

If the coal miner doesn't go to work, and he doesn't have paid leave, he will not be paid, and possibly his entire family will go hungry while he recovers. That isn't good either.

So, to avoid death and/or injury, paid leave is essential. With paid leave, said coal miner could go home and recover his strength while his family eats the bread that the paid leave gives them.




Thank you Pro, for presenting your argument. I notice with some interest that you chose to bring up the matter of paid sick leave specifically, rather than maternity leave, or something more along those lines.

My argument against paid sick leave is this: It is a very generous proposal to provide paid sick leave. And the idea that workers will be more productive while in better physical condition is most certainly correct, to the point of being undeniable. However, I feel that the purpose of the employee is being overlooked in the argument.

Let me take the aforementioned coal worker, for example. Your argument, as I see it, is that the worker should be provided with paid leave so that he can do his job better, and to keep him safe. He will be better able to prevent injury being inflicted upon himself and also others around him.

But the coal worker (I'll refer to him as "Bob", to keep things simple) was hired by a mining company (let's call it "Coal Inc.") for one purpose: to mine coal. He wasn't hired so that he could "make a living", he was hired primarily because the company needed a strong worker to mine coal for it, so that they could then turn around and sell the coal and make a profit. Bob is paid for "selling" the services of his labor to the company, and Coal Inc. makes money from the transaction by selling the coal generated by Bob's services for a profit. Everyone in this scenario benefits.

However, if Bob gets sick one day, obviously through no fault of his own, and can't come in to work, he has in effect stopped providing his service to Coal Inc. He didn't want to, but he cannot provide the same level of service to the company, and yet maintain his own personal safety. He then realizes that he cannot afford to continue to feed his family while recuperating, yet if he goes to work, he risks his personal safety because of his drastically reduced awareness of his surroundings, and he also risks the future of his family's provision. He faces a tough decision. What should he do?

Everyone is in business for them self, whether or not they think of it as a business. If you sell your labor, whether to a company or to anyone else, you are in business. If you own a company like Coal Inc., and you manufacture a product, or pay other people to manufacture it, and sell it to someone else, you are in business. In business, there are events out of your control, whether it be a natural disaster, a dwindling market for your product, or some other problem. These are risks, and everyone has them. While it is unfortunate, and while some people face greater risks than others, it is not the fault of others that you face these risks. Therefore, others should not be obligated to pay you for those risks.

In business, everyone is free to set their own price. Coal Inc. can set the price of its coal at $10/lb. Or it can set it at $100/lb. Bob can do the same thing. He can set the price of his labor at either $10/hr. or $100/hr., whatever he likes. But how much someone will actually be paid is dependent upon what the end consumer of the product is willing to pay for it, and what they think the product is worth. If an electric company wants to buy a pound of coal, but thinks Coal Inc. charges too much for their coal, they might decide to buy it instead from Mining Inc., who sells their coal at a substantially cheaper price.

Bob can tell Coal Inc. that he will work for $15/hr., plus paid sick leave for any two weeks out of the year. Coal Inc. may agree to such an arrangement, or they might not, especially if there are five other guys who will do the work without the paid leave. Bob could then either agree to work without the paid leave, or try to get work on his terms over at Mining Inc.

Although not always fair, this is the way business is done. In business, your top priority is to look out for your own interests, which would be the reason Bob wants the paid leave and his employer doesn't want it. But this is a matter between the buyer and the seller, and a third-party source (for example, the government) has no business forcing Coal Inc. to pay Bob for a service he can no longer provide, anymore than they do forcing the electric company to keep paying Coal Inc. for coal they no longer sell.

Thus, my position is that paid employee leave is between the employee and the employer, and that the employer should either provide that benefit or not based on their own discretion.
Debate Round No. 2


First of all, you did not follow the structure of the debate; that round was for arguments. This round is for rebuttals.

So, your argument is:

The employer should provide paid leave at his own discretion.

The problem is, employers do not want to pay employees for doing nothing. If your plan was reality, no one would have paid leave, except for employees with extremely kind employers. This would leave to increased loss of life for the Bobs and Bubs of the world. With less employees, less work gets done. With less work, we'd have more people dying from lack of production. It's a vicious cycle. On the other hand, with mandatory paid leave, less people die, and although managers lose a little money, it all benefits in the long run.


First, I would like to thank my opponent for the debate, and I would like to thank DDO for hosting the debate. I also wish to express gratitude to the people who vote on our performance after the debate is finished.

Secondly, I shall make my last case based on what my opponent said in Round 3. You claim that an employer will not pay for paid leave unless he is an "extremely kind employer". You claim that the reason is that "employers do not want to pay employees to do nothing".

Well, I will agree with you on that last point. Employers (and just about everybody else) do not want to pay for something they derive no benefit from. You don't want to pay your grocer for groceries you never receive because you are paying him to provide groceries. This is the case no matter what kind of problems he is going through, unless you happen to take pity on him and pay him just so that he will have some help getting through the hard times. But at that point, the transaction is no longer one of business, and of buying and selling. It becomes charity, which is a different matter.

But let's say the grocer says to you "I cannot provide you with groceries now because my personal funds are too low to pay for groceries to be delivered here. However, if you pay me now so that I will have enough funds to get over the low hump and provide groceries again, then I won't have to close my store, and you can continue to buy groceries from me." In this case, the grocer shows you how the new setup is advantageous to you. You think less about how you're paying for something you are not getting, and more about how you are helping to secure a needed service for the future, so that you will not have to waste time and money looking for a new source to provide the same service.

The same thing can be done with an employer. If you can make him see how the new setup is beneficial to both of you, he may be more willing to take part in the new arrangement. But once again, if there are hundreds of other good grocery stores and hundreds of other employees who are willing to take the risk and work without leave, then your suggested arrangement has less chance of being accepted.

I wish to close by saying that creating mandatory paid leave is effectively setting a price control. It is setting a minimum price for a commodity, in this case labor. Whenever you set a minimum price for something, there will be less of that thing being sold. There will be an excess available, because many people will not want to pay the price for it. It is therefore better to let the free market flow of supply and demand set the prices for things, instead of having a third-party source set up artificial controls, in an attempt to set prices in a more fair manner.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by breakingamber 5 months ago
I forgot *embarassed face*
Posted by Kescarte_DeJudica 5 months ago
breakingamber: I do not wish to argue, but if I was off topic when I stated my position in Round One, why did you not say that in Round Two, or post it in the comments section before the debate?
Posted by breakingamber 5 months ago
BTW voters, the debate explicitly states, "Should employees have paid leave" not "Must employees have paid leave?". My opponent was arguing off topic.
Posted by iamfromdebatewars 6 months ago
Posted by breakingamber 6 months ago
Your point being?
Posted by iamfromdebatewars 6 months ago
In my father's job people getabout 30 paid leaves. Excluding medical holidays. Sundays are paid too.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 months ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument is that paid leave helps employees. That sums it up. However, Con argues from two directions: (1) Many employers would provide paid leave without a mandate simply because the market is competitive and workers will stop showing up and work elsewhere if they are not given benefits they want, and (2) that paid leave has unintended consequences. Pro pretty much ignored (2), and his response to (1) was that employers do not pay people for nothing. But, as con notes, paid leave isn't nothing--it is an important benefit for attracting productive employees. Thus, we have this: a likely true (1), which weakens Pro's arguments about the benefits of paid leave (assuming they are true), and a dropped (2), which means Pro concedes that there would be a trade off. Overall, Con provides the stronger case that mandating paid leave would harm workers (if mandated) and would likely be provided voluntarily in a competitive marketplace.