Paid Sick Days

Together we won the right to sick leave for workers in NYC

  • The Campaign

    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.

     

  • Research

    CSS produced multiple reports on the need for paid sick days in NYC during the camapign.

    Click on a cover below to learn more about and read that publication.

  • Videos

    Watch two videos produced by CSS in support of the paid sick days campaign.

  • Events

    CSS Roundtable: The Impact of Paid Sick Days on Jobs

    More than a million working New Yorkers lack even a single paid day off to recover from an illness or care for a sick child. Efforts to win a minimum number of paid sick days for New York City workers have met with strong opposition from critics who say it would be a burden on employers. In April 2012, CSS hosted a high-level policy roundtable to debunk opposition claims that a paid sick days law would result in job loss at small businesses in a fragile economic recovery.

    What’s the Real Story?

    The CSS roundtable, held on April 20, 2012 at the Princeton Club in New York City, brought together leading economists who have looked at the impact of minimum wage increases and paid sick days on employment, the director of labor standards enforcement from San Francisco, which has had a similar measure in effect since 2007, labor leaders, policy-makers, small business owners—on both sides of the issue—and representatives of corporate interests and the chambers of commerce.

    The weight of the empirical evidence from solid, independent research and the actual experience of San Francisco make it clear that paid sick days would not be detrimental to employment. That is because the cost of paid sick days is small, relative to things even like recent minimum wage increases, and because ultimately the cost is borne not just by employers, but absorbed through operating changes and passed along to customers and employees. Moreover, a paid sick days law creates a level playing field so that firms with decent labor practices are not undercut by those who would take advantage of workers.

    Watch: Highlights From the Roundtable

    1. Small business perspective: cafe owner Freddy Castiblanco, small business owner from Queens, talks about why he supports paid sick days.

    2. What’s in the bill: Ellen Bravo of Family Values at Work, Kathryn Wylde of Partnership for New York City, and Sherry Leiwant of A Better Balance discuss the real provisions of the Paid Sick Time Act, the bill that’s currently before the New York City Council.

    3. The San Francisco experience: Donna Levitt, San Francisco Office of Labor Standards, on how a paid sick days law has affected the San Francisco business community.

    4. The public policy case: from MIT economist Paul Osterman.

    5. Debunking the “job-killer” myth: Nancy Rankin, Community Service Society sums up the overwhelming research in support of paid sick days.

    6. The opposition: Kathryn Wylde, Partnership for New York City, on why some business interests oppose a paid sick days law in New York City.

    Watch the Full Highlights:

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.

 

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