De Blasio moves forward with expansion of paid sick leave bill

Members of Make the Road New York (Credit: William Alatriste)
Members of Make the Road New York after the passage of the paid sick leave law last year. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an expansion of the law to businesses with five or more employees. Credit: William Alatriste

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an expansion of the city’s paid sick leave law Friday in the first legislative accomplishment of his administration.

Over half a million more New Yorkers will have paid sick pay days under the new law, which expands current legislation to include businesses with five or more employees and eliminates certain exceptions and a phase-in.

The old law only applies to businesses with 20 or more employees, starting in April 2014. It would have expanded to businesses with 15 or more employees in 2015.

Opponents of the bill argued that some businesses cannot afford to offer paid sick days, and that such arrangements should be made between the employer and the worker.

Former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn had blocked a vote on the bill for three years, drawing criticism from colleagues and activists. She announced a compromised deal last March and brought it to the floor for a vote in May. Mayor Michael Bloomberg quickly vetoed the bill, but the City Council overrode his veto and passed the law in June.

 

The new law is expected to pass City Council with the support of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who stood with the mayor while making the announcement.

“This City Hall is going be on the side of working families all over this city,” de Blasio said in Brooklyn. “We’re going to work hard and we’re going to work together — both sides of City Hall — to make sure that this will be one city where everyone rises together.”


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