Get Sick Often? Move to NYC!

By: Catherine Clifford, a Special to Overdrive

Under federal law, you don’t have to pay your employees if they don’t come to work because they  are sick. However, a growing number of places are moving to make paid sick time  mandatory. As of Thursday, New York City is expected to be the latest addition  to that list. San Francisco  kicked off the trend of requiring employers to provide paid sick time in  2007, followed  by Washington, D.C., and Milwaukee, in 2008, and Connecticut, Philadelphia  and Seattle in 2011.

According to a 2010 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and  working-family rights advocacy organization A Better Balance, 62 percent of all  businesses and 53 percent of those with fewer than 100 employees provide access  to paid sick time.

New  York City Councilwoman Christine Quinn has pushed against a city-wide  mandate for paid sick time, arguing that in a sluggish post-recessionary  economy, small-business owners “are on the brink, and they fear that any new  costs will put them under.” But as of Thursday, Quinn and New York City workers  reached an agreement on a proposal for requiring employers to provide paid time  off for their workers, according to a written statement from Quinn’s office. The  compromise comes as Quinn is making a run at taking over as mayor of New York in  Mike Bloomberg’s stead.

The deal reached would, if passed, would require that employers with more  than 15 employees provide their workers with paid sick time which they can use  when either they themselves are ill or when they need to take care of sick  family members. As of April 1, 2014, businesses with more than 20 employees  would have to provide their employees with five paid sick days. And as of Oct.  1, 2015, businesses with 15 or more employees would have to comply.

“Because of deliberate, thoughtful, and at times hard-nosed negotiations, we  now have a piece of legislation that balances the interests of workers,  small-business owners, and local mom-and-pop proprietors across this city,” Quinn said in a statement. About 1 million New Yorkers would be extended the  benefit of paid sick time. No vote is yet scheduled, but the legislation is  expected to pass because it has support from a majority of council members,  according to a spokeswoman for Quinn.


Categories: EO News PEOPLE/STAFF


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