However, new research shows that if one congressional bill extending paid sick time to workers were to be implemented in 2016, small businesses could be hit hard over the next decade.
The conservative lobbying group National Federation of Independent Business analyzed the Healthy Families Act, which allows workers in businesses that have 15 or more workers earn up to seven job-protected paid sick days per year to recover from illnesses, seek medical care and provide care to a sick family member, among other things.
Read MoreObama in State of the Union: We need to 'fix our politics'
The paid sick-leave mandate could result in the loss of 430,000 jobs through 2025, and small firms would account for 58 percent of all jobs lost, the federation's report said. In addition, the real output lost during that decade would be $652 billion, the report states, half of which would be borne by small businesses.
"Absent workers do not produce goods or services that would otherwise be produced if they are in the workplace," federation senior data analyst Michael Chow said, adding there is a compensation cost that businesses also have to deal with in paying those workers for time off. "Businesses might eat the cost through lower profits, those profits going into the pockets of business owners, who are in turn consumers in the economy and will thus have less money to spend on goods and services elsewhere, driving overall demand in the economy down."
Under the Healthy Families Act, employees who work at least 20 hours a week earn a minimum of one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 56 hours, unless the employer sets a higher threshold. Businesses with fewer than 15 workers would have their workers earn up to seven unpaid sick days to be used for the same reasons, according to advocacy group National Partnership for Women & Families.
For small business owners like Larry Stottlemyer, who owns Adventure Park USA in Frederick, Maryland, mandated sick pay is a major concern. He owns a seasonal indoor-outdoor amusement park and employs up to 130 in the summer and 45 in the winter. Only six have paid time off, and wider offerings would be a burden.
"Paid leave should be something somebody should earn — not just have a right to," Stottlemyer said. "I think mandating this kind of stuff to small businesses is not what the government should be doing. We need good employees and to take the ability away to negotiate with a good employee — that is damaging to us."