Contact: Jeffrey N. Maclin
(212) 614-5538 (office)
(718) 309-2346 (cell)
Nearly three years since legislation requiring employers to provide a modest, minimum number of paid sick days to employees was introduced in the New York City Council, Speaker Chris Quinn has still not brought the measure to the floor for a vote, despite the fact that a veto-proof majority of 37 council members have signed on to the bill.
In today's New York Times, Speaker Quinn once again cites concerns about the financial impact of the legislation on small businesses in a fragile economy. Those concerns, however, are unfounded. On April 20th, the Community Service Society hosted a roundtable discussion with economists, small business owners, and representatives from San Francisco, where a paid sick days ordinance has been in effect since 2007. The verdict was clear: The cost of paid sick days is minimal. And those costs, which are ultimately shared by employees and customers, are easily absorbed by minor changes in business operations.
It is hard to fathom that in 21st century New York City, roughly two-thirds of low wage workers cannot take a day off to take care of themselves or their children without losing pay and risking losing their jobs. How can New York City be home to the kind of inequality where the businessman with the corner office enjoys certain basic rights, but the low-wage worker cleaning that office does not.
Today, on the steps of City Hall, elected officials, working women, mothers, teachers, healthcare professionals, and community organizations will be voicing their support at the Women for Paid Sick Days rally. It is time for Speaker Quinn to heed the calls coming from all directions, and bring paid sick days legislation to the floor for a vote.
Highlights from the CSS Roundtable: The Imact of Paid Sick Days on Jobs: What's the Real Story?
MIT Economist Paul Osterman:
Nancy Rankin, CSS VP for Policy Research & Advocacy:
Freddy Castiblanco, Small Business Owner in Queens: