ASBC Member W.S. Badger CEO to Testify for FAMILY Act
WASHINGTON – Rebecca Hamilton, co-CEO of Gilsum, N.H.-based W.S. Badger Company, a member of the American Sustainable Business Council, will testify Tuesday in support of the FAMILY Act (H.R. 1185) before the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.
Family owned and run, W.S. Badger was founded in 1995 in rural southwestern New Hampshire and employs 100 people in the manufacture and sale of organic balms and personal care products. The company prides itself on “creating a supportive and family-friendly workplace,” epitomizing what ASBC calls the “high road workplace.”
The American Sustainable Business Council is an advocacy network of over 250,000 businesses who share a commitment to the triple bottom line of people, planet and profits. Paid family leave is just one of the “high road” initiatives, which include a $15 minimum wage, universal health care, expanded worker ownership and more equitable policies on inclusion and workplace diversity.
W.S. Badger pays a $15-per-hour starting wage with five weeks of paid family and medical leave; flexible work schedules; long- and short-term disability; profit sharing; a “babies-at-work” program, and subsidized, near-site child care. where all employees are treated as valuable members of our community.
“These benefits align with our mission as a family-friendly workplace, but it makes good business sense,” Hamilton said in prepared testimony. “Our innovative approach has enabled us to spend $0 on recruitment, while retaining an engaged and committed workforce for the past 25 years.”
While turnover in manufacturing jobs averages about 16% annually, turnover at Badger has been near zero. In a recent employee engagement, 100 percent of Badger employees felt that their manager respected their work/life balance; eighty-two percent reported feeling highly engaged; and over fifty percent plan to stay at Badger for more than five years.
Hamilton will be one of six witnesses testifying on a panel following three members of Congress: Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), the primary sponsor of H.R. 1185 and two Republican members sponsoring a far more limited alternative, H.R. 1940, Reps. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY).
As part of its paid leave campaign, ASBC with Panorama recently released what is believed to be the first quantitative study on the impact of paid leave benefits on business return on investment (ROI), finding a positive impact on ROI for companies offering paid leave benefits. A copy of that study can be found online at www.ASBCouncil.org.