De Blasio Expands NYC Paid Sick Leave Law
- New York City 01/18/2014 by Linda Perry (WBAI)
"Under this legislation, the lives of over a half-million New Yorkers will be immeasurably better," de Blasio said outside a restaurant in the Bushwick neighborhood, standing with Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who sponsored the bill as a city councilwoman. "Families will be stronger and more stable because they will have paid sick leave coverage” de Blasio said.
The new bill requires businesses that employ more than five workers to offer five sick days a year. It removes exemptions placed on the legislation by former Council Speaker Chris Quinn under pressure from Mike Bloomberg and the business community.
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said, “We are going to make sure that no one is thrown into crisis and insecurity just because they get sick. This is the culmination of a movement and coalition that has put the rights and needs of families at the center of our agenda. The City Council is going to work in partnership with the Mayor to seize this moment.”
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer worked for three years with advocates and colleagues on sick leave legislation. “I’m pleased it is being expanded to include more workers. Employees who have time off to take care of their health needs or those of a family member are better workers and enhance the entire work environment."
Brewer said the law also means fewer workers will use emergency rooms and instead will visit a primary care doctor, saving millions in taxpayer dollars, workers like Leonardo Fernando, a member of Make the Road New York. He is an immigrant worker originally from Mexico who works at a car wash in Queens. "I would like to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council for expanding the paid sick days law and making this one of the new administration's first priorities."
Kathy Wylde, with leading business group Partnership for New York City, said, "Our hope is that these amendments to the current law will expand protection to more workers who need it, but avoid undue hardship on employers."