De Blasio signs paid sick days bill into law, celebrates with ice cream

de blasio ice cream
Bill de Blasio signed his first piece of administration as mayor, requiring any business with five or more employees to offer workers paid sick days.
Credit: Rob Bennett/NYC Mayor’s Office

With a few deliberate strokes of his pen, Bill de Blasio signed his first piece of administration as mayor, requiring any business with five or more employees to offer workers paid sick days.

The mayor — who admitted to practicing his letter-by-letter script — signed the bill at the Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based Steve’s Ice Cream shop, surrounded by New Yorkers who would benefit from the law and his fellow city leaders who ushered the bill through City Hall.

The bill’s sponsor Manhattan Councilwoman Margaret Chin and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito were both alongside the mayor, as was former Councilwoman and current Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who first introduced the legislation almost four years ago.

A compromised version of Brewer’s bill eventually passed, with provisions that limited the number of small businesses affected and a failsafe trigger to stop the law if the economy were in bad shape.

The signed law strips away those conditions originally requested by the business community, covers an additional 200,000 New Yorkers and goes into effect on April 1.

“The urgency we all felt about this legislation – it wasn’t abstract. It wasn’t something we read about in a book,” de Blasio said. “It was from hearing from our fellow New Yorkers. It was seeing the difference when you knew what it was like to have paid sick leave. And those of us who have been blessed understand how fundamental it is.”

Representatives from the department of Consumer Affairs, which will oversee enforcement of the law, said that the agency was committed an educational program to inform business owners and employees alike.

Consumer Affairs Deputy Commissioner Marla Tepper also explained that while the law does create statutory penalties for businesses who don’t comply, the main goal of the law is to make employees whole.

“Because we recognize that there’s a period of time for employers to get to know the law, and work with the department to understand it, there will be a stay of penalties for the first six months for small employers and for manufacturers,” she added.

De Blasio again praised members of the business community who understood the need for paid sick leave. He pointed to David Stein, owner of Steve’s Ice Cream shop.

“Some business owners didn’t wait for this law. They were ahead of the curve. They knew what their employees needed,” de Blasio said before sampling some of the store’s offerings.

De Blasio seemed particularly fond of a vanilla concoction with coconut cream and burnt sugar shards.

“I’m convinced,” de Blasio said. “If this is what workers who get paid sick days can make, this is the best endorsement you’re going to have for the concept anywhere.”

Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Cabbie tried to sexually assault passenger with kids…

NYPD is on the lookout for a taxi driver suspected of trying to sexually assault a female passenger while her three kids were in the car.

Breaking: National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Entertainment

QUIZ: How many English words do you actually…

Are you as smart as you say you are? Are you a word nerd? Take this quick vocabulary test to find out if you're a true wordsmith. Good luck.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…

Wellbeing

Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…