The Community Service Society played a crucial role in the act’s passage providing essential research documenting how the widespread lack of paid sick days among low-income New Yorkers increased the likelihood of going to work sick, relying on costly emergency room care, and being forced to send ill children to school or day care.
As part of a broad-based coalition of affected workers, labor, women’s groups, health advocates, seniors, and advocacy organizations, CSS worked to promote awareness of the magnitude of the problem, who is most affected, and answer questions about how a paid sick days policy in New York City would impact jobs and business. CSS’s efforts, led by VP of Policy Research and Advocacy Nancy Rankin, included testimony before the City Council, op-eds, and research, polling and analysis relied on by the campaign and news media. CSS joined with our coalition partners in rallies and petitions, making the voices of low-income New Yorkers heard.
Now that we’ve won the right to sick leave, we’ve turned our attention to raising awareness of how the new law works, to make sure that covered workers actually benefit. Passage of paid sick days in New York City provided huge momentum for the national movement; since enactment here, eleven more cities and two states have gone on to make sick leave a right through legislation or ballot initiatives, culminating in President Obama’s call for passage of a federal law in his January 2015 State of the Union Address.