Last week Heinemann's abruptly closed its last three restaurants due to declining sales, increased competition and the deepening recession. With no advanced warning 115 people lost their jobs.
Co-owner Peggy Burns also blamed Milwaukee's new paid sick day ordinance.
But wait a minute.
Milwaukee's new ordinance doesn't go into effect until February 10, 2009.
And two of the three shuttered stores and their employees would not have been covered by the law since they were located outside the city in Fox Point and Brookfield.
Earlier, the company closed stores in Greendale, Whitefish Bay, Grafton and Wauwatosa. None of these stores were effected by the sick pay ordinance either.
So what gives?
Apparently opponents of providing employees with paid time off when they or a family member are ill are so angry about the law that they feel justified in lying about its impact.
Next we'll be told that Milwaukee's high poverty and black unemployment rates are caused by the sick leave ordinance. Or that Tower Automotive shut down because of the onerous regulation.
As layoffs and business closings increase in the coming months, we will continue to hear opponents of paid sick days blame it for all of Milwaukee's economic woes. Don't believe the hype.