Deal reached on paid sick leave bill

Council Speaker Christine Quinn announces the legislation Friday at City Hall. Credit: William Alatriste
Council Speaker Christine Quinn announces the legislation Friday at City Hall. Credit: William Alatriste

Thousands of companies in New York City will soon be required to give their employees paid sick leave.

Under a deal announced by Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s office Thursday evening, companies with 20 or more employees will be required to offer five paid sick days beginning April 1, 2014. On Oct. 1, 2015, it will expand to include companies with 15 or more workers. 

“We have a good, strong and sensible piece of legislation that recognizes the needs of everyday New Yorkers and the realities that our struggling small businesses face,” Quinn said in a statement.

She said the 2014 start date gives businesses extra time to recover before absorbing the extra costs.

The bill also ensures the requirement will only go into effect if the economy continues to improve, according to Quinn’s office.

Enforcement will be complaint driven, according to the speaker’s office, and handled by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The maximum fine will be $2,500.

Quinn had blocked a vote on the paid sick leave bill for three years, arguing that it would hurt the city’s economy. She drew criticism from her fellow mayoral contenders, her colleagues in the City Council and activists, including feminist Gloria Steinem.

Under the bill, companies that have fewer than 15 employees will be forced to offer unpaid days off to sick workers. Companies will be legally forbidden from firing employees for taking sick time off, paid or unpaid.

Advocates had originally wanted a bill that would apply to companies with five or more employees. Despite the compromises made, the deal is a victory for labor unions and liberal activists who have long rallied for it. They say the legislation will affect one million workers who until now could not take time off out of fear that they would lose pay or their job.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed Friday he will veto the bill.

“It is crucial that we continue doing everything we can to allow businesses to grow,” he said. “While this compromise version of the bill is better than previous iterations, it will still hurt small businesses and stifle job creation.”

There is expected to be enough votes in the City Council to override the veto.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…